Study: Trash Burning Causes Serious Health Problems

TIME

More than 40% of trash produced around the world today is burned without regulation or oversight in a process that damages public health and contributes to climate change, according to a new study from the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

“Air pollution across much of the globe is significantly underestimated because no one is tracking open-fire burning of trash,” said NCAR researcher and lead author of the study Christine Wiedinmyer in a statement. “The uncontrolled burning of trash is a major source of pollutants, and it’s one that should receive more attention.”

Mercury and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, a type of particle created during burnings, are among the potent materials released from unregulated burnings that have been linked to health problems like neurological disorders, cancer and heart problems.

While garbage burning happens across the globe, it’s particularly rampant in developing countries with limited access to controlled methods of trash disposal. More…

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