Toxic waste

Essay by vinni119 October 2004

download word file, 2 pages 3.0

Toxic Waste

Bubbling, oozing, slimy, stinky go. This is how the condition of the Eco System is today, completely crammed with filth and toxic waste. Toxic waste is waste material, often in chemical form, which can cause death or injury to living creatures. The term is often used interchangeably with "hazardous waste," or discarded material that can pose a long-term risk to health or environment. Toxics can be released into air, water, or land, thus contaminating it. There are numerous kinds of toxic wastes. Some of the important ones are radioactive or nuclear wastes, pesticides, heavy metals.

Radioactive or nuclear waste is waste material containing radioactive chemical elements which does not have a practical purpose. It is often the product of a nuclear processes generated from the processing of fuel for nuclear reactors or nuclear weapons. There are different levels of radioactive wastes depending on the intensity and content of the toxic substances present in it.

The "Low level Waste is generated from hospitals and industry, as well as the nuclear fuel cycle. It comprises paper, rags, tools, clothing, filters etc which contain small amounts of mostly short-lived radioactivity. The Intermediate level Waste contains higher amounts of radioactivity and some requires shielding. Generally this type of waste is disposed off deep underground. The High level Waste arises from the use of uranium fuel in a nuclear reactor and nuclear weapons processing."(1)

Heavy Metals another form of toxic waste have no known biological function and some of these are capable of disturbing essential physiological processes. Examples of this are cadmium, lead and mercury. Other metals in the wrong form can be toxic. "Cadmium is a well known carcinogen. Its entrance into the environment is accelerated by mining, burning of fossil fuels and leaks from treatment or chemical sites. Mercury gets...