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Home arrow Health arrow Best practices for environmental health : environmental pollution, protection, quality and sustainability
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Solid and Hazardous Waste Removal

(See Debris section above) (See Chapter 12, “Solid Waste, Hazardous Materials, and Hazardous Waste Management”)

During and after the advent of a natural disaster or act of terrorism, there is disruption of the infrastructure of the community including the routine work of storage, collection, and disposal of solid waste as well as the storage, collection, and disposal of hazardous waste. Areas of the community become inaccessible and areas of storage and disposal may become inaccessible and also disrupted by the events occurring. In addition, there is a huge increase in waste from the debris caused by the events which have occurred, which is potentially able to cause disease and injury and an assortment of environmental problems. (See Debris section above.)

Medical and infectious wastes produced by hospitals, other healthcare facilities, veterinary facilities, mortuaries, and research facilities may contain substances that can transport bacteria and/or viruses, sharps, and packaging. There will be an increase in medical/infectious waste because of illnesses and injuries to people in the community. Healthcare, other facilities, and equipment may be damaged and therefore may increase the level of medical/infectious waste.

The typical home contains a large number of household hazardous chemicals which may need to be removed. During the course of a hazardous event, many of these chemicals may become unusable or potentially modified by flood or fire. These substances may include solvents, gasoline, pesticides, drain cleaners, bleach, oil-based paints, lighter fluid, and a large assortment of other necessary household chemicals and cleaners.

 
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