Highlighting an Asian problem Malaysian Environment Minister to Canada: Take back your trash.
Philippines and Malaysia are right to complain. Plastic trash on the loose is making Asians sick.
A health-impact study says various human health problems are arising like, “irritation in the eye, vision failure, breathing difficulties, respiratory problems, liver dysfunction and failure, cancers, skin diseases, lung problems, headache, dizziness, birth defects, reproductive system damage, cardiovascular restriction, genotoxin, and gastrointestinal damage”.
An international health study completed last year (International-Health-risks-plastic-9.IJH-8655) has attributed very specific health risks and a decrease in human life span owing to plastics in the environment and a micro plastic invasion of tissues.
Dumping waste claimed to be plastics in Asia from Canada, which only recycles 9% of its plastics according to best guesses of environmentalists, is only the tip of the melting iceberg. Trash and more particularly plastics are killing everything. They are making Asians sick.
A new report released February by the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) and numerous partners says that not enough work has been done to evaluate the harmful effects of the plastic micro-particles permeating our bodies, the food chain and the environment.
The photo and its story: Plastic pollution in Ghana. Some of these plastic containers have come thousands of kilometers. The characteristics that make plastic a material with diverse and desirable applications for bettering human life, i.e.: lightweight and incredibly durable molecular bonds, render them a widely dispersed, ubiquitous, and persistent threat to human health and the ecosystem.
Not just plastics but the production of plastic is destroying the environment.
“Plastic requires a lifecycle approach. The narrow approaches to assessing and addressing plastic impacts to date are inadequate and inappropriate.
“Understanding and responding to plastic risks, and making informed decisions in the face of those risks, demands a full lifecycle approach to assessing the full scope of the impacts of plastic on human health. This includes to ensure that we are not creating yet more and increasingly complex environmental problems in attempts to address this one,” says the CIELreport.
The research being reported demonstrates that the “same characteristics that make plastic a material with diverse and desirable applications for bettering human life, i.e. lightweight and incredibly durable molecular bonds, render them a widely dispersed, ubiquitous, and persistent threat to human health and the ecosystem,” upon which we rely.
Not just Plastic but the production of plastic is killing the environment
“Ninety-nine percent of plastic is derived from fossil fuels,” notes the CIEL report.
Plastics come from every kind of fossil fuel. The earliest hydrocarbon plastic—including once ubiquitous nylons—were derived from coal, and coal continues to be a significant source of plastic production in some areas, including China.
Shortly before World War II, the development of polymers from oil feedstocks skyrocketed. When the war ended, plastic producers sought and created new uses and markets for plastic resins and plastic products. Since then, plastic has been produced from a mix of oil, gas, and to a lesser extent coal, depending largely on the availability and cost of key feedstocks.
Plastic production facilities release many toxic substances in their day-to-day activities. For example, Shell is currently constructing an ethane cracker in close proximity to the Marcellus Shale natural gas deposits in Pennsylvania, an area of increased fracking.
It is designed to produce plastic from the ethane created as a byproduct of fracking. This one facility is projected to emit a wide range of chemicals that will negatively impact human health, including tons of nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, filterable particulate matter, large particulate matter, fine particulate matter, sulfur oxides, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), hazardous air pollutants (HAPs), ammonia, and carbon dioxide equivalents.
Not only will it emit HAPs, including benzene and tolulene, which can cause cancer and birth defects, but also it will emit VOCs, which can react with the simultaneously released nitrogen oxides to create ozone smog that can impede people’s ability to breathe, especially those with asthma,90 and particulate matter, which can also cause cancer.91 The ethane cracker’s success is linked to the influx of related industries and technology, indicating industrial buildout will likely follow.
While plastic production creates its own specific harms and threats to the health of fenceline communities, these can be, and often are, exacerbated by the presence or expansion of related industrial processes that also pose significant threats.
Additional petrochemical plants are planned as if there will be no end to the proliferation of plastics, and it is likely that plastic-producing plants would follow to take advantage of the infrastructure already in place to support them.
The health risks fenceline communities face from the development of this single ethane cracker will only grow.
The photo and its story: Not just President Duterte of the Philippines but the Environment Minister of Malaysia wants Canada to take back its garbage. Malaysia will send back some 3,000 metric tons (3,300 tons) of non-recyclable plastic waste to countries such as the U.S., U.K., Canada and Australia in a move to avoid “becoming a dumping ground for rich nations,” Environment Minister Yeo Bee Yin (inset) said Tuesday 28 May 2019.
Risks to Children, Infants, and Pregnant Women
Studies show that the health risks of vulnerable populations such as children, infants, and pregnant women are particularly high in regions with expansive oil and gas production.
Oil and gas drilling and fracking operations use and emit chemicals that are known to disrupt the endocrine system, the collection of glands that produces hormones and regulates everything from hunger to reproduction and influences nearly every cell, organ, and metabolic function.
Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that can interfere with the body’s endocrine system and negatively impact the developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune systems. Research links endocrine disruptors to cancer, obesity, diabetes, metabolic diseases, infertility,43 and increased risk during prenatal and early infant development when organ and neural systems are forming.
Thirty seven percent of the chemicals used in fracking are suspected endocrine disruptors.
Harm to reproductive and developmental outcomes have been linked to the presence of endocrine disrupting chemicals used in oil and gas development—including benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes.
A British Columbia study found elevated levels of muconic acid—a marker of benzene exposure— in the urine of pregnant women living near fracking sites.47 Studies in Pennsylvania have found that infants of mothers living near fracking sites have a 40 percent increase risk of preterm birth,48 and poorer indicators of infant health, and significantly lower birth weights.
Colorado-based studies have found higher prevalence of birth defects of the brain, spine, and spinal cord and congenital heart defects, and higher rates of leukemia in children and young adults living in dense oil and gas production areas.
Cancer-causing chemicals used in fracking have been found to contaminate both the water and air of nearby communities that could increase the risk of childhood leukemia
Once predicting the end of the world being nuclear weapons, environmentalists might now be more concerned about plastics.