- Any substance that is present in the environment or released into the environment causing substantial damage to public health and welfare of the environment is called hazardous substance.
- Any hazardous substance could exhibit any one or more of the following characteristics: toxicity, ignitability, corrosivity or reactivity (explosive). Thus, any waste that contains hazardous or very hazardous substance is called hazardous waste.
- Hazardous wastes can originate from various sources such as household, local areas, urban, industry, agriculture, construction activity, hospitals and laboratories, power
plants and other sources.
- The hazardous waste when disposed of release a number of environmentally unfriendly substance(s).
- Hospitals generate hazardous wastes that contain disinfectants and other harmful chemicals, and also pathogenic micro-organisms. Such wastes also require careful treatment and disposal. The use of incinerators (destroy, especially waste material, by burning) is crucial to the disposal of hospital waste.
Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants
- Stockholm Convention is an international environmental treaty
- Came into effective in 2004
- Aims to eliminate or restrict the
- production and use of persistent organic pollutants (POPs).
- POPs are defined as “chemical substances that persist in the environment, bioaccumulate through the food web, and pose a risk of causing adverse effects to human health and the environment”.
Important Listed substances
- Aldrin: Used as a local ectoparasiticide and insecticide
- Heptachlor: Uses as a termiticide (including in the structure of houses and underground), for organic treatment and in underground cable boxes
- Hexachlorobenzene: Use as a chemical intermediate and a solvent for pesticides
- Endrin: Endrin has been used primarily as an agricultural insecticide on tobacco, apple trees, cotton, sugar cane, rice, cereal, and grains.
- Polychlorinated biphenyl: PCB’s commercial utility was based largely on their chemical stability, including low flammability, and physical properties, including electrical insulating properties. They are highly toxic.
- DDT: DDT is the best-known of several chlorine-containing pesticides used in the 1940s and 1950s.
- Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal.
- International treaty that was designed to reduce the movements of hazardous waste between nations.
- Main goal is to prevent the transfer of hazardous waste from developed to less developed countries (LDCs).
- It does not address the movement of radioactive waste.
- 182 states and the European Union are parties to the Convention
- Location → Basel, Switzerland
- Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade.
- Multilateral treaty to promote shared responsibilities in relation to the importation of hazardous chemicals.
- The convention promotes the open exchange of information and calls on exporters of hazardous chemicals to use proper labeling, safe handling, and inform purchasers of any known restrictions or bans.
- Signatory nations can decide whether to allow or ban the importation of chemicals listed in the treaty.