Chemical and Radioactive Waste Management

Apart from many other natural and cyclic factors affecting our environment there are several human induced nuisances that are leading to the extinction of biodiversity and unhealthy atmospheric conditions to live in. Out of these numerous man originated factors, introduction of chemicals and radioactive substances into the living surroundings has affected a vast section of the population through all different modes possible.
The industrial waste that is disposed off in water bodies attached to industrial areas contains a number of harmful and at times a few poisonous chemicals including mercury, lead, fluorine, chromium, etc which lead to diseases like Minimata disease, lead poisoning, etc. Generally non-targeted organisms which include water buffaloes, fish, etc and also man who feeds on them bear the consequences.

Other than water pollution due to industrial chemical waste, soil pollution is also intensified via chemicals as in due to usage of chemical fertilizers by farmers in order to safeguard their crops and improve soil fertility. Pesticides, insecticides, fungicides, weedicides and several fertilizers are the various chemicals used by the farmers and all these add up to be harmful for soil in the long run.

The story doesn’t end here. To save our nature from getting polluted nuclear energy seemed to be a promising option for generation of electricity with very low quantities of waste product. But the radioactive material used for the same proved to be excessively harmful. Although its presence in small quantities can be neglected but bulk amounts are a cause of concern. They cause mutations which are responsible for genetic disorders noticed in the dwellers in close proximity of the region.

To safeguard the living beings from the effects of chemicals and radioactive substances careful measures should be taken in direction of disposal of the waste. The radioactive substances should be dumped more than 500m deep in the Earth. The intensity of radioactive substances used should be the least possible. Instead of chemical fertilizers, manure i.e. cow dung can be used for soil fertility. Genetically modified crops can be grown to stop the use of various pest killers. Reduce, Reuse and Recycle to an extent of minimal wastage has to come into application. Government should introduce reforms and make it a must to get instruments introduced that check the toxicity level of the chemicals discarded into the water bodies. This is imperative if we are to battle with the hazards of these chemical and radioactive wastes in the near future.

Malvika Bansal

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