Hazardous Waste Hazardous waste are products that could pose short or long term threats to your health or the environment if they are not disposed of properly. The disposal of hazardous waste can be very dangerous. Hazardous disposal sites have become a serious environmental problem. For many decades , hazardous industrial wastes were improperly disposed of on land, and eventually the toxic wastes seeped into ground water and drinking water. In 1980 the Superfund Act was installed to provide more than ten billion dollars for the detection and cleanup of problem hazardous waste sites.
Love Canal has become a symbol of the hazardous waste problem in our country, In a period of ten years the Hooker Chemical and Plastic Corporation dumped 22,000 tons of toxic waste in steel drums into an old canal. The covered the canal with topsoil and the property was then turned over to the Niagara Falls Public School District. Many homes, recreational fields, and a school were built on the site. In 1976 residents became concerned.They began to notice odd smells. The steel drums were leaking toxic waste into sewers, lawns and even the basements of some homes . Due to the actions of concerned citizen, Lois Gibbs,0 the state performed many health studies on the area and by 1978 the federal government declared Love Canal a disaster area. It cost the taxpayers 275 million dollars to clean up the site.
Today the EPA has identified more than 30,000 contaminated waste sites.
Science Activity # 8
Have students create alternatives to the toxins we use in our homes.
Have the students make and try the following alternative cleaning products. * Borax or hydrogen peroxide for bleach. * One cup white wine vinegar to each quart of warm water for floor cleaners
* Baking soda for scouring powder.
* Baking soda and a heavy brush for general cleaner.
* Worcestershire sauce for brass cleaner.
* Lemon juice and salt for copper cleaner.
* Olive oil and lemon for indoor wood cleaner.
Rate the effectiveness of the alternative cleaners and take note of the harmful ingredients on the labels of cleaners being replaced.