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Environmental Hazards and Human Health - Essay Example

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Most of them are normally found in forests, backyards, abandoned swimming pools and buildings. The open dumps have one major disadvantage especially in densely populated areas. The open dumps allowed the communication of the…
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Environmental Hazards and Human Health
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Environmental Hazards and Human Health Open dumps are the illegally dumped tons of garbage. Most of them are normally found in forests, backyards, abandoned swimming pools and buildings. The open dumps have one major disadvantage especially in densely populated areas. The open dumps allowed the communication of the waters directly with the environment. For instance, the toxic chemicals in open dumps often seep through the ground and contaminate groundwater (WeGreen-USA, 2014).
Methane gas
Organic wastes will normally undergo degradation. During the degradation process, the wastes are broken down in the presence of oxygen. The decomposition of garbage very much involves the work of bacteria. The rate of decomposition is enhanced by the presence of leachate. As the wastes are degraded by the bacteria, gases are emitted mainly methane. Methane is a greenhouse gas whose emissions pose a threat to the environment (WeGreen-USA, 2014)
Leachate
The liquid that percolates or filters through the dump is referred to as Leachate. The sources of leachate would be rainwater or the liquids in the waters. Rainwater normally hit collected trash; pooling occurs and run off may ensue. The lacerate would thus become toxic since it will mix ground water (WeGreen-USA, 2014).
The landfills are the most commonly used method of waste disposal. The old landfills were mainly composed of a bottom liner and a cover. The old landfills failed to adequately prevent the contamination of the environment with wastes. The leachate was not collected hence it trickled down to the ground bringing about the contamination of ground water. In addition, the wastes were exposed to the environment hence attracting pests. The decomposition of older landfills took more time since cover of the landfills was not properly structured.
The modern landfill contains a leachate collecting system, a bottom liner and a cover. This minimizes the possibility of wastes escaping into the ground. The modern landfills are constructed with safeguards. The water is normally covered to avoid attracting the pests. In addition, compaction of the waste is carried out order to increase the density and stability. This means that more waste can be disposed of using the landfill method. Modern landfills are designed in ways that protect the environment from contamination. Landfills prevent hydraulic connections between the waste and the environment mainly ground water (WeGreen-USA, 2014)
Differences between the old and modern landfills
The old landfills were not properly structured and allowed communication with the environment. This can be attributed to the poor ground layer, the cover and the lack of a leachate collecting system. On the other hand, the modern landfills are more effective and offer least forms of environmental contamination. This is attributed to the fact that modern landfills have a proper ground cover that prevents seeping of lacerate, the presence of a leachate collecting system and a covered that prevents direct contact of waste with the environment. Based the need to prevent contamination of the environment by wastes, the modern landfills are more advantageous when compared to the old landfills (We Green-USA, 2014).
Air pollution still poses a challenge to the use of modern landfills. More innovations are also made to ensure that methane and the leachate are effectively collected to prevent environmental contamination (WeGreen-USA, 2014).
However, the use of landfill faces challenges such as the expenses incurred and time required for their construction. The environmentalists also oppose the use of landfill because of the increased emission of greenhouse gases such as methane. Methane is also explosive hence posing a threat to human life (WeGreen-USA, 2014)
References
WeGreen-USA. (2014). The Waste. Retrieved on 24th November 2014 from http://www.wegreen-usa.org/landfill-problems.html. Read More
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