The cost of toxic waste is staggering, not only in terms of economic expenditures but also in terms of human health and ecosystems. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, current environmental contamination in the United States could cost anywhere between several hundred million to more than one trillion dollars. Toxic waste has been linked to a wide range of health problems and diseases, including cancer, birth defects, liver disease, hypertension, and neurological disorders.
Toxic waste is the result of the improper disposal of chemicals. These materials can kill or damage animals. They can destroy habitats, cause disease, or impair reproduction. Mercury and lead are known to pose major human health risks. They are deposited in the body’s tissues and can cause seizures, cancer, and even death. This makes it imperative to properly dispose of toxic waste. If not properly disposed of, the effects of these pollutants can be devastating.
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A chemical known as ethylene glycol can corrode steel at a rate of 6.35 mm per year. Moreover, the state of Massachusetts has added a number of chemicals to the ‘D’ list, which is the federal toxic list. Therefore, toxic waste should be collected and disposed of, because it does not belong in the environment. Toxic waste is not permitted in dumping or in most other locations.
Toxic waste is produced as a byproduct of industrial and chemical processes. Toxic waste is found in household and commercial waste, and some of these products are common and routinely end up in toxic waste streams. These include batteries for electronic devices, pesticides, cell phones, computers, and so on. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), over two million tons of toxic chemicals were released into the environment from factories in the U.S. in 2011.