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Waste Impacts - Health
Health graphic:land

There are five possible health impacts caused by waste

1. About 10-15% of hospital waste is regulated as infectious. This waste must be properly treated and sterilized to prevent accidental infection of the health professionals who handle it as well as the general public through inadvertent exposure.

2. Medical waste incinerators (MWIs) produce mercury and are the second largest known source of dioxin. Dioxin is one of the most toxic substances on earth. Dioxin is persistent and bioaccumulates in fat tissue for about 7 years. Dioxin is classified as a known human carcinogen. Studies show lowered testosterone levels in exposed workers and birth defects in offspring of Vietnam veterans exposed to dioxin-containing Agent Orange.

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2002 Edition