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Toxic waste

Article by Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Toxic waste is waste material, often in chemical form, that can cause death or injury to living creatures. It usually is the product of industry or commerce, but comes also from residential use, agriculture, the military, medical facilities, radioactive sources, and light industry, such as dry cleaning establishments. As with many pollution problems, toxic waste began to be a significant issue during the industrial revolution. The term is often used interchangeably with hazardous waste, or discarded material that can pose a long term risk to health or environment. Toxins can be released into air, water, or land.
Toxic waste can pollute the natural environment and contaminate groundwater. Love Canal is a famous incident in which homes and schools were built near an area where toxic waste had been dumped, causing epidemic health problems. A number of toxic substances that humans encounter regularly may pose serious health risks. Pesticide residues on vegetable crops, mercury in fish, and many industrially produced chemicals may cause cancer, birth defects, genetic mutations, or death. Many chemicals have been found to mimic estrogen, the hormone that controls the development of the female reproductive system in a large number of animal species. Preliminary results indicate that these chemicals, in trace amounts, may disrupt development and lead to a host of serious problems in both males and females. These range from infertility, increased mortality of offspring and disruptions of bodily functions (such as slowing heart rates, or breathing rates) to cold/flu like symptoms (such as vomiting, diarrhea and swelling) and behavioral changes (such as depression, tiredness and behavior confusion.)

See also:
Hazardous Waste
List of waste management companies
List of waste management topics
List of solid waste treatment technologies
List of Superfund sites in the United States
List of topics dealing with environmental issues
Radioactive waste
Waste management
Waste types
Article source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toxic_waste .

Article Keywords: Hazardous Waste, Toxic waste, waste, waste management, Superfund sites, Superfund .

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