preventing hazardous waste problems

preventing hazardous waste pollution

Nations that have more industry produce more hazardous waste. Currently, the United States is the worlds largest producer of hazardous wastes, but China, which produces so many products for the developed world, may soon take over the number-one spot. Countries with more industry produce more hazardous wastes than those with little industry. Problems with haz- ardous wastes and their disposal became obvious sooner in the developed world than in the developing world. As a result, many developed nations, including the United States, have laws to help control hazardous waste disposal and to clean toxic sites. As mentioned in the "Impacts of Hazardous Waste" concept, the Superfund Act requires companies to clean up contaminated sites that are designated as Superfund sites (Figure 1.1). If a responsible party cannot be identified, because the company has gone out of business or its culpability cannot be proven, the federal government pays for the cleanup out of a trust fund with money put aside by the petroleum and chemical industries. As a result of the Superfund Act, companies today are more careful about how they deal with hazardous substances. Superfund sites are located all over the nation and many are waiting to be cleaned up. The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 requires that companies keep track of any hazardous materials they produce. These materials must be disposed of using government guidelines and records must be kept to show the government that the wastes were disposed of safely. Workers must be protected from the hazardous materials. To some extent, individuals can control the production and disposal of hazardous wastes. We can choose to use materials that are not hazardous, such as using vinegar as a cleanser. At home, people can control the amount of pesticides that they use (or they can use organic methods of pest control). It is also necessary to dispose of hazardous materials properly by not pouring them over the land, down the drain or toilet, or into a sewer or trashcan. Click image to the left or use the URL below. URL:


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this country is currently the largest producer of hazardous waste.

a) china

-->  b) united states

c) europe

d) australia

the government must oversee the superfund act because bo other organization is big enough to direct large corporations.

-->  a) true

b) false

the resource conservation and recovery act of 1976 requires

-->  a) companies to keep track of hazardous material produced

b) companies to keep track of hazardous waste disposed

c) that workers must be protected from hazardous materials

d) all of the above

which of these is not hazardous?

a) pesticides

b) batteries

-->  c) vinegar

d) gasoline

it is okay to dispose hazardous material down the drain.

a) true

-->  b) false

china produces a tremendous amount of hazardous waste because

a) the chinese people have the highest standard of living on average.

-->  b) the chinese produce many products for the developed nations.

c) the chinese use production standards that are so high they create toxic waste.

d) none of these.

new york, michigan and california are the only locations of superfund sites.

a) true

-->  b) false

it is easier and cheaper to clean up a toxic waste site than to prevent the site from being contaminated in the first place.

a) true

-->  b) false

who oversees the cleanup a superfund site if the responsible party cannot?

a) the state government.

-->  b) the federal government.

c) the people who are most affected by the toxic waste.

d) no one. it will not be cleaned up.

what can individuals do to lessen the creation of toxic waste problems?

a) use materials that are not hazardous.

b) use small amounts of hazardous materials.

c) dispose of hazardous materials properly.

-->  d) all of these.

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