Making Better Working Environment for Employees in Afghanistan
Working environment refers to the specific location in which a task or job obligation is performed and completed. Working environment implies the circumstances in which a staff or an individual works, including such things as physical environment, amenities, degree of danger or safety, and noise and stress levels among other factors (ILO, 1975). It remains a common objective for all managers and leaders to create positive and favorable working environment for their employees. Such an environment includes favorable working conditions, timely management feedback, good air quality, as well as an understanding of the job priorities and goals (Santana, 2003). The purpose of this paper is to examine the ways in which employees working conditions can be made better in Afghanistan.
Ways of Improving Working Environment in Afghanistan
Organizations must work to ensure that their employees working conditions are favorable although the working environment in Afghanistan has been deteriorating at an alarming rate. This could be attributed to the political instability of the country due to the policies of the Taliban forces. One notable feature is that women’s rights to employment, despite being the majority in the country, remain an unwelcome issue by the Taliban (Sabri et al, 2007). According to Santana (2003), much of the focus of managers and business leaders is on the techniques that can help in decreasing workplace burnout among the employees by helping them cope with the workplace stressors. However, the most effective workplace burnout’s cure is addressing the causes of employee disengagement as well as creating viable environments, which can promote employees’ re-engagement with their work (Jelinek, 2006).
One of the major issues of concern in the Afghanistan workforce relates to security concerns. These concerns have forced some individuals and groups to reconsider working in Afghanistan. Moreover, some employees within this nation must carry arms with them due to the security threat they face every minute. The employees also fear the frequent terrorist killings and attacks (Rosenberg & Bowley, 2012). According to Sabri et al (2007), Afghanistan employees lack sufficient health facilities access courtesy of the numerous civil war and strife that have left the nation’s health sector adversely affected. Thus, provision of medical services must require adequate consideration and action to ensure employees receive quality services. Employers must also reconsider the workloads they relay to their employees.
Currently, employees have heavy workloads, which burnout their energy, as they are too demanding. This leads to long working hours and this immediate evaluation and addressed appropriately (Santana, 2003). According to Jelinek (2006), Afghanistan is one of the most challenging nations for government-contracted employees operations. Major challenges are attributed to poor security, which forces workers to share their operational space with military actors as well as working with weak Afghan government, which is sometimes hostile.
Communication should be a notch higher in such a challenging environment, especially to know how the employees are faring in this environment (Jelinek, 2006). Organizations must also foster social interactions with their employees working in Afghanistan and listen to their grievances. This will help the employees in appreciating their work and perceive the organizations (especially the humanitarian non-governmental organizations) are concerned of their welfare (Sabri et al, 2007). The employees’ motivational mechanisms should also be at a relatively high level in terms of remuneration and other motivational factors to boost their productivity in such challenging environment.
In conclusion, workers in Afghanistan have a number of working environment challenges, which are mostly attributed to the nature of political system of the nation. As such, organizations have much to do to ensure their employees are safe and productive.
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International Labour Office (ILO)., & International Labour Conference. (1975). Working environment: Sixth item on the agenda. Geneva: International Labour Office.
Jelinek, E. (2007). A Study of NGO Relations with Government and Communities in Afghanistan. Agency Coordinating Body for Afghan Relief. 1(1):1-31
Rosenberg, M. & Bowley, G. (2012). Security Fears Lead Groups to Rethink Work in Afghanistan, Retrieved on May 19, 2012 from: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/11/world/asia/afghan-anger-and-security-changes-imperil-aid-groups.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all
Sabri, B., Siddiqi, S., Ahmed, A., Kakar, F. & Perrot, J. (2007). World Health Organizational Journal. 85(9):649-732.
Santana, J. (2003). Creating Supportive, Engaging Work Environment Helps Fight Employee Burnout, retrieved on May 19, 2012 from: http://www.techrepublic.com/article/creating-supportive-engaging-work-environment-helps-fight-employee-burnout/5035231
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Making Better Working Environment for Employees in Afghanistan 5
Conflict Resolution Plan
In a working environment, people are often bound to experience conflicts among themselves at all the levels. This is described as a form of disagreement that causes rife between people and groups. Depending on how a conflict is resolved, it may result into either strengthening or totally destroying a relationship (Munduate, Luque & Barón, 1997). This implies that poor conflict resolution leads to resentment among the parties involved while proper resolution has a productive outcome that may end up increasing levels of understanding and even respect among those involved.
People in the work environment may choose to either avoid solving the conflict by shying away or facing it upfront and candid by dealing with the issue to restore the relationship (Reynold, 2006). Some opt to totally deny the existence of a conflict as others opt to shift blames in the organizational set up. Another group will use the opportunity to manipulate their colleagues especially those in higher authorities. What this means is that the character of a person has an important part to perform in the procedure of issue solving. This paper highlights the conflict of poor interpersonal relationships at Verizon Wireless Inc in the United States. This reflects the type of conflict that has two people working in teams being unable to effectively reach an agreement and settle the issues causing differences between them (Munduate, Luque & Barón, 1997).
Identify the signs and symptoms of the conflict
Conflicts can be manifested in various ways. This interpersonal conflict can be manifested through both parties refusing to address or speak to each other and often ignore the presence of another. It is also represented through the individuals discussing ill of each other to all the other exterior parties. In the company set up for instance, people may gossip each other in bad light. Refusing to cooperate is also a sign of interpersonal conflict that greatly affects team performance at Verizon Wireless. People can also be seen grouping themselves and secluding others in meetings. Others utilize threats against each other to instill fear (Reynold, 2006).
Identify the parties involved in the conflict
The interpersonal conflict at the company is between the teams of two people who have been paired up to deal with various departments. It has been observed that the groups of twos have had conflicts amongst themselves.
Identify the root sources or causes of the conflict
These conflicts occur due to various reasons as observed by (Elmagri & Eaton, 2011). The first cause that is often cited is that of having personality differences. This implies that people have difficulties in dealing with each other especially due to their background and psychological thinking process, beliefs and culture. The second is differing perceptions caused by educational experiences towards life issues (Reynold, 2006). This is especially of some senior team members who may undermine their colleagues by trying to exercise control over them. This evokes resistance from the other party that may refuse to submit to the authority. Clashing values or even personal interests can be sources of conflicts of interpersonal relationships in the working environment. The highly competitive environment that has been created by the Verizon management is also a cause of conflicts as people struggle to outdo each other (Munduate, Luque & Barón, 1997).
This is especially following the system of rewarding performance as others feel that their team members have been rewarded when they have made less contribution compared to what others have done. A feeling of hostility may thus develop. The state of power of an individual against the other is also a cause of conflict in the company. This is advanced by the organizational structure where people are expected to report to senior supervisors for evaluation. The lack of sufficient resources within the company in various departments also brings about conflict as people scramble for the few and even hoard so that they can achieve the set objectives at the expense of others.
Another source of conflict among interpersonal relationships within Verizon is the culture of stereotyping that makes people form pre-judgments against each other. They then get to make quick biased decisions without proof that leads to interpersonal conflicts. These are caused by religious beliefs and racial differences (Reynold, 2006). Generally, human beings are simply exploitative and this is also a significant cause of conflict especially when one party feels that they are being misused to achieve certain objectives.
Identify what technique(s) would be best used to resolve the conflict
The first technique that could be used in conflict resolution is negotiation. This involves having both parties meeting to air out the interpersonal conflict issues and then reaching an amicable solution and understanding. Negotiation is carried out on a deliberate basis as parties consciously agree to reach a consensus. The existing relationship between the groups determines the final outcome of the negotiation process because a lot of compromise is involved for winning to occur. Mediation is also another technique that could be used to solve the workplace conflicts.
This involves coming in as an independent party to help restore the relationship between the two employees of teams that are not coordinating properly, to try in helping them settle their scores. The mediator’s role is that of an advisor through making possible suggestions for all parties involved. They are not expected to impose decisions on the parties but to simply advice and guide by suggesting the way forward but the ultimate decision making lies with those involved in the conflict. They need to be trusted people in order to win the confidence of the parties.
Arbitration is the third strategy used to fix disputes. This is also about getting a third party to act as the judge of the process (Reynold, 2006). The difference with mediation is that with this technique, the arbitrator can make decisions or even lay out the terms in which settlement of the conflict issues will be done. The parties often make a unanimous agreement on the possible person to serve as the arbitrator who can impartially bind them all. The collective bargaining approach is also very essential as a conflict resolution technique. This is effective in settling antagonistic rivalry between parties, and at the workplace, it can effectively work between the management and workers to settle salary disputes. It is often described as collective because it involves all members coming on board to find a common solution to issue facing them. It often works well rather than opting to withdraw or avoiding conflict resolution.
Identify what core competencies (conflict resolution skills) will be needed
One needs to have a good record of conflict solving through promotion of negotiations and mediation processes. A person with conflict resolution skills must be trustworthy, win the acceptance of the parties and be able to promote cooperation between them. Critical thinking is also an essential skill in conflict resolution that can bring solutions that are permanent and practical. It is also very critical for the mediator to have skills and knowledge that pertains to the working structure of the organization, including the attitudes of the employees involved in the interpersonal conflict. Other important skills include being very tactful and persuasive enough to urge participants to reconcile and adapt certain solutions.
Identify the circumstances under which the conflict would warrant the use of mediation, arbitration, facilitation, and negotiation
Negotiation is the best to use in organizational context between management and employees. The local communities also use negotiations to solve their conflicts and arrive at lasting solutions. Organizations can use arbitration using their panels or even the board to determine a matter that is affecting majority of the employees. These are respected personalities whose decisions the conflicting parties can humbly regard as being final in the process (Eatough, 2010).
Outline the actions (steps) you would take to address the major conflict issue
The America Management Organization (2013) recommends the following steps for conflict resolution. The first thing towards issue quality would be to recognize the real cause or resource of the issue. This is important because conflict resolution is easily addressed depending on as much available information as possible. This implies that as a consultant, I will need to ask both parties questions on why they feel disappointed, the relationship between the feelings and the incidences that have occurred, the actions that led to the onset of the issue and giving all of them an equal opportunity to openly and freely express their feelings as a sign of unbiased and impartiality.
The second step is that of looking way beyond the event or incident that just happened. This means that among the Verizon team members, the interpersonal conflict could have been caused by events that happened in the past though their effects may be felt in the current period hence making people to attack each other on a negative light. More probing will lead to inform ation that may give signs of factors that are simply beyond the conflict to enable better understanding.
The third step is to request for solutions. This means seeking the views and opinions of the two people in interpersonal conflicts to evaluate how they would like to go about it. Active listening will promote both parties to speak up. This is then followed by the fourth step of making identifications on solutions that all the parties involved can not only identify with but also support. The fifth step is that of reaching an agreement and bringing both parties together to sign up agreements of resolution and promise to work together. This involves outlining the key actions that will be followed by all parties in preventing future recurrence of conflict.
How these actions would improve the effectiveness of communications to resolve the conflict
These actions help in problem identification hence the root cause of conflict is addressed, leading to understanding on both sides. These effectively helps in communicating that both parties recognize the existence of a conflict and are willing to participate in the resolution process. Listening is an important skill in this process of effectively communicating. Secondly, these actions promote effective communication as they help in coming up with the possible solutions of conflict resolution. These actions promote the effective evaluation of the existing alternatives and settling on one best solution that is appropriate to solve the conflict. It gives room to evaluate one after another while weighing out the advantages and disadvantages before making the final choice. These actions promote effective communication by facilitating the implementation of the solution. Through effective communication, the parties in interpersonal conflict will agree on their particular responsibilities towards resolving the conflict.
Conflict resolution is a long and at times, a tedious process. In as much as people often struggle to avoid conflicts in the working environments, somehow, a reason or two causes conflict to be something that is bound to happen once in a while due to human nature and behavior. People should strive to maintain healthy relationships by averting conflict from happening in the first place. It is the desire of all employees and team members to sustain connections which are sleek, versatile, and mutually to avoid issue from occurring. There is a need to recognize the methods in which individuals can promote the occurrence of a conflict.
One way of doing this is to recognize a particular, latest conflicted scenario, remember what was said, and then think particularly about how this scenario would have used more efficient terminology. Think about methods in which the individual connections could have set a more trustworthy overall tone or decreased defensiveness. Then, once the individual has recognized the issue, such as accusing the other party, he or she should focus on solving it within a week’s time. At the end of it all, it is very critical that an individual’s conflict management level of improvement is assessed. Did the individual succeed? In what circumstances did the individual not succeed? While it may be the other individual who designed the issue, individuals are the other 50 percent of the connections and it is the individual own reaction that the individual have management over and can modify.
America Management Organization. (2013). The five steps to conflict resolution. Retrieved from http://www.amanet.org/training/articles/The-Five-Steps-to-Conflict-Resolution.aspx
Elmagri, M., & Eaton, D. (2011). Identifying the factors causing interpersonal conflict in organisations (through analysing secondary data). 4(1), Retrieved from http://tbher.org/index.php/tbher/article/viewFile/43/44
Eatough, E. (2010). Understanding the relationships between interpersonal conflict at work, perceived control, coping, and employee well-being. Retrieved from http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2622&context=etd
Munduate, L., Luque, P., & Barón, P. (1997). Styles of handling interpersonal conflict: An observational study. 9, 145-153. Retrieved from http://www.psicothema.com/pdf/82.pdf
Reynold, E. A. (2006). Impact of interpersonal conflict on individuals high in unmitigated communion. Retrieved from http://www.page- gould.com/documents/Reynolds_Helgeson_Seltman_Janicki_Page- Gould_Wardle_2006.pdf
CONFLICT RESOLUTION 6
Running head: CONFLICT RESOLUTION PLAN 1
United States leads on the global scale in budgetary allocation toward environmental cleanup. For instance, statistics indicate that in 1993, 2.4% of the country’s GNP was spent on environment. Environmental cleanup practice in United States is enforced by environmental laws and regulations that are administered by Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA regulates the environment, health and safety. The federal government has given the agency mandate to control pollution since 1970s (Cairncross, 1992). Environmental policies in the United States have helped a great deal in cleaning up and sustenance of the environment. For example, since 1970s, the rate of air pollution has been on the decline apart from on nitrogen oxides. Following the enactment of Clean Air Act in 1990, toxic air pollutant emissions have been put under control. In addition, water quality in waterways that are near the urban centers have improved because of organized cleanup practices.
Health data indicates that the cancer risk posed by environmental pollution accounts for less than 2% of the cancer infections (Cairncross, 1992).
Globally, environmental pollution is considered to threaten life on the planet through various ways. Research indicates that continued pollution causes, climate change and destruction of natural inhabitants that result to species extinction because of depletion of the ozone layer. The depletion of the ozone layer has prompted nations to come together at an international scale and enact policies that control the use of chlorofluorocarbons and halons. The United States has been on the forefront in the process of developing a methodology to address environmental pollution menace. For instance, the Montreal protocol calls upon nations to increase the rate of reducing the release of chlorofluorocarbons and halons. In 1991, the federal government of the United States developed a research program that was projected to consume up to $954 million to unfold the mystery of effects of climatic change (Office of Science and Technology Policy, 1991).
During the Bush administration, United States refused to sign the Kyoto Protocol that was aimed at regulating greenhouse gas emissions. The Clinton’s administration sought to preserve forestry through encouraging tree planting. United States has initiated efforts to coordinate economic and environmental policies to promote economic growth and control environmental pollution. Environmental policies in the United States have been successful in addressing pollution at the local level. Despite debate on the high cost of the environmental policies, the government has earned benefits out of air pollution regulation, but costs override benefits in water pollution control. According to Cairncross (1992), the EPA objectives have shifted from reducing health risk to ecology sustenance. Currently sustainability of the environment at the global scale is on the fore front at the rise of new environmental consciousness. Current environmental policies aim at creating a sustainable relationship between man and the planet.
In the United States, the federal policy has driven increase in environmental expenditures in the last twenty years because of the states quest to protect the environment. The EPA designs and administers environmental regulations. The Department of Agriculture and Department of Interior are also instrumental in the enactment and implementation of environmental laws in the untied states. EPA is very authoritative in the United States. The president cannot change or impose environmental statutes without consulting with the agency and the congress. EPA has been working since 1970s and has continuously gained authority over the years. The agency has worked consistently through several administrations and through its structure and authority in the country (Daly, 1990). The change of objectives in EPA indicates the increased public push for the government to prioritize environmental pollution issue. In addition, it is an implication of the public’s better understanding of laws and science covering the environmental processes.
Since its inception, the EPA has passed Clean Air amendments in 1970, Water Pollution Act, Pesticides Control Act, Resource Conservation Act and Toxic Substances Control Act. Through enforcing the aforementioned acts, United States outlook is to reduce pollution and eliminate the associated health risks. For example, sulfur oxides emissions have been reduced tremendously from 1970s and are expected to continue decreasing. This is an effort to conserve the environment through reducing the release of greenhouse gasses in industries Cairncross (1992). Through the introduction of control on vehicle emissions, volatile organic compounds pollution has been reduced from its high fractions experienced in 1940s. In addition, carbon monoxide from vehicle emissions has been put under check through adaption of pollution control systems.
Air pollution trends have changed significantly between 1940 and 2000. In addition, air pollutants have been put under check. For instance, reduction of automobile air pollution can be associated with pollution control regulations. For example, it enforced use of non-leaded gasoline and this has helped in reducing 95% of lead emissions to the environment in the last twenty years. On the other hand, the government’s requirement to control the emission of sulfur oxides has not been able to bear fruits. For instance, the requirement to maintain clean plants has necessitated life extension of the existing plants. Despite the difficulties in assessing water quality, EPA has been instrumental in ensuring human practices are wary of the need to maintain clean water.
The agency has successfully conducted clean exercises like in Cuyahoga River (Daly, 1990). Data on water quality implicates the pollution levels in streams and rivers. Literature indicates that the state lacks efficient data at national level to indicate the level of pollution in water bodies. Lack of precise data makes it difficult to state the water quality of the country’s water bodies. Most pollution monitoring stations do not indicate mobility of pollutants on the scale. In addition, sodium and chloride pollution is on the increase. Nitrogen pollution has been on the increase since the inception of EPA. Water quality trends vary with time. Scientists find it challenging to create a connection between pollution control policies and changes in environmental quality patterns. The substantial improvement in water quality is an implication of industrial compliance hence reduced power plant emissions.
The EPA uses Toxic Release Inventory to monitor the quality of firm’s individual emissions of toxins into the environment. This inventory is likely to influence the manner in which firms conduct their businesses. The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act require firms to give annual reports specifying their total pollutant emissions to the land, water and air. In this report, firms indicate the amount of pollutants released directly to the environment, and the amount taken for chemical treatment. Moreover, the percentage of chemical pollutants moved for storage and disposal in other facilities is specified. The authenticity of the data provided varies from one firm to another because they are not obligated to verify the data. However, through EPA sanctions, firms have been forced to reduce their pollutant emissions and literature indicates that the data has improved considerably across time. For instance, literature indicates that between 1989 and 1991, emissions to different media declined by 24%. According to the United States Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (1993), TRI is a perfect source of information for identifying pollution trends and establishing emission inventories.
Pollution policies have net benefits that are accrued from better air and water quality. For instance, reduced air pollution increases the health status of the population there are few illness instances, and it is associated with a long life span. In 1997, the expected air pollution control cost was $15.8 billion. Compared to its benefits to the pollution, the net benefit of the policy was $24 billion. In the United States, environmental policies are influenced by four forces namely: the authority of EPA, industry evolution, environmental activists and electorates demand for better environmental quality (Daly, 1990). Different institutions, including law makers and enforcers have been instrumental in shaping the environmental policy. Many organizations have teamed up to form environmental movement that is aimed at increasing environmental awareness. Environmental groups have resorted to the use of the federal government’s congress and media to push their agendas at the national scale. These movements raise and sensationalize environmental issues to mobilize the public’s support to necessitate survival and growth of their organizations.
Some of the ethical issues arising from environmental policies include Environmental organizations greed to further their own interests. For instance, literature indicates that they do not care about the high budgetary allocations on environmental protection and implementation of policies, but rather continue pushing for different interests. Environmental organizations only because industries and the federal government for a slow pace toward the achievement of objectives. Moreover, they do not base their arguments on balanced assessment of environmental policy issues, but gang up to convince the public that more resources should be allocated to support their course. Environmental organizations have turned into business entities and are thus in fierce competition with each other. Competition has forced organizations to differentiate to remain relevant in the market.
The EPA has matured over time, and its objectives have become more specific and specialized. The EPA budget has been expanding since its institutionalization probably because of diversification of interests and increase in staff volume. EPA’s growth is based on expansion of environmental issues list and coming up with regulations that place the agency among the most needed in the protection of the environment and ecosystems. For instance, EPA is critically important as compared to its stakeholders like the administration and congress (Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, 1993). This is because it is the main agency that offers factual environmental information to both national and international stakeholders. The congress and other stakeholders get environmental information from EPA. Using its position of controlling the type of information that gets into the hands of the congress, the EPA can manipulate laws and regulations to its preferred direction.
Since 1970s, the EPA has been able to protect human health through implementing laws and regulations to control pollution. For instance, research indicates that cancer risks arising from environmental pollution have been contained. The few health risks arise from non-point sources of pollution that are difficult to control and monitor. For example, water pollution resulting from pesticides presents monitoring and controlling challenges to the involved environmentalists. The EPA agency has invested in coming up with ways of controlling the remaining risks as well as managing issues related to sustainability of the ecological systems. Although many environmental concerns are scientifically justified, they raise the question of the organization’s interest in controlling corporations and influencing the daily lives of ordinary citizens.
Literature indicates that there is increasing public demand on the need for a cleaner environment. Most people believe that environmental cleanliness directly affects their health. Increased public awareness of environmental issues is related to the visible consequences of environmental pollution like climatic change, depletion of the ozone layer and the need for sustainable development (Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, 1993). Internationalization of environmental awareness and people’s knowledge on the risks imposed by chemical wastes has raised the debate on shipment of chemical wastes from one nation to another.
The superiority of the United States dates back before oil discovery and gold mining era in the country’s history. Despite the long history of social and economic development, the issue of environmental protection and sustainable exploitation of resources is still young. A century after the enactment of the Larceny Act in 1900, there is debate on environmental ethical issues on the state. This brings up the role of people’s social, spiritual and political backgrounds in ecological protection. To necessitate smooth implementation of the EPA’s laws and regulations, the United States government has come up with groups to ensure the well being of natural resources. However, then EPA’s main objective of protecting the people’s health and maintaining a clean environment faces harsh opposition from political, financial and spiritual grounds. Questions have been raised on the way in which the United States government handles environmental issues.
In 2000, almost 300 million gallons of coal polluted the Ohio River and destroyed the river’s ecosystem (CNN.com., 2010). However, following Bush’s directory, the river was never cleaned up. The federal government fined the Massey energy company a total of $110,000 because of non-compliance with the state’s environmental policies. The chief executive of the National Mine Health and Safety Academy tried to impose heftier fine on the company and was immediately replaced with an individual who had Massey’s interest at hand. The ethical issues in this case range from governments protection of industrial practices that are hazardous to the environment to lack of organizational responsibility to clean-up the environment if their practices end up in disaster. A decade later after the spill, the coal sludge is still in the structures that were directly affected.
The Macondo drill that was operated by the British Petroleum producers in 2010 had an oil drilling project in the deep sea. Its drilling machine blew-out, killed the workers on board and caused the worst offshore oil spill in the United States history. British Petroleum oil provided financial support to necessitate clean up and compensate those who had been affected economically. After investigation, the federal government found out that the Minerals Management service presented a shoddy review of the environmental impacts of the project and allowed the operation to continue thus violating the country’s environmental safety concerns. The effects of the oil spill will be felt at the United States coast line for a longtime because of the government’s reluctance in providing the right information about the project’s impact assessment. This practice caused environmental degradation of the Gulf of Mexico and strained the source of income for families and businesses that depend on the waters for economic subsistence.
The country continues to look at ways of alleviating environmental pollution. For example, in 2010, president barrack Obama gave a speech aimed at reducing carbon emissions from automobiles through ensuring fuel efficiency and adapting hybrid technology (Obama, 2010). However, the senate did not approve the climate bill stating that funding the project because it required much funding. The rejection of the proposed climate law in United States opens a door for continued violation of environmental policies and continued use of technology that constantly degrades the environment. The cost incurred in implementation of environment friendly policies is our ethical duty to protect the environment and is a step toward protecting the environment from more oil spills, power outages and gas spills that will have net benefits in the long-run.
In conclusion, the human nature’s objective is to survive in this planet that poses a threat of extinction of various species because of constant climatic change. United States enacted EPA in 1970. EPA is the main agency that is on the forefront in protecting the environment through enforcing pollution control policies. The ethical issues surrounding environmental policies include political, social and financial issues. From a political perspective, enforcement of policies faces a blow in instances whereby parties have vested political interests in a certain project. Prominent figures in politics protect organizations that undertake projects that can be very hazardous to the environment. On the financial front, many policies implementation have been stalled by their preconceived high cost to the tax payers. However, the law makers fail to recognize the long-term net benefits conferred to the public through economic growth and clean environment that ensures good health.
Cairncross, F., (1992). Costing the Earth: The Challenge for Governments, the Opportunities for Business
CNN.com., (2010, July23). Deepwater horizon alarm had been ‘inhibited,’ technician testifies. Retrieved 08 November 2012 from http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/07/23/gulf.platform.alert.html
Daly, H., (1990). Toward Some Operational Principles of Sustainable Development, 2 Ecol. Econ.
Obama, Barack. (2010, July 23). Energy and environment Retrieved 08 November 2012 fromhttp://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/energy-and-environment
Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, (1993). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA 745-R-93-003, 1991 Toxics Release Inventory: Public Data Release
Office of Science and Technology Policy, (1991). Our Changing Planet: The FY 1992 U.S. Global Change Research Program
ENVIRONMENTAL POLICIES IN UNITED STATES 1
Water Pollution Issues and Mitigation
Water is an essential aspect of life on earth. Virtually all living things require water for survival. Water is used during metabolic process in living things whereby it provides a medium for the breakdown and absorption of nutrients. In addition, the most industrial process requires water for their activities. In fact, most industries are located near water sources to supply constant water for their activities. In farming, water forms a vital component of plant growth as is normally the main focus of the activity. Although water is vital in most cases, it has been misused thereby threatening the survival of living things. Water pollution is an issue encroaching issue in the contemporary world.
It involves contamination of water bodies with foreign matters thereby endangering aquatic life, and agricultural process. Water pollution is caused by individuals, companies, and activities of large industries among many. Water pollution is turning into a global deserter. The current state of water bodies portrays a devastating picture to aquatic life, agriculture, and posterity of water sources. This means that if efforts will not be channeled toward activities meant to mitigate water pollution, there will be heightened dangers to aquatic life, agriculture, and human activities. Water pollution is a sensitive issue that ought to be considered at length and solutions found. Effort should be made by individuals, organizations, and government. As a result, this paper investigates the causes of water pollution and ways of mitigating it.
Facts on Water Pollution
Water pollution refers to activities that result in the introduction of foreign bodies or particles in water. The particles are introduced directly or indirectly through human activities. The activities of human beings, such as sewage and factory effluent disposal are always aided by moving rivers. In case the discharge is done without proper treatment, the process results in pollution. Water pollution is a global concern. According to the study done by West (1), more than 14000 people die daily on diseases related to water pollution. In fact, water pollution is one of the leading causes of death. The study further reveals that India is the most affected nation in the world. More than 700 million Indians do not have access to pure clean water.
In addition, about 1000 Indian children die every day as a result of diseases related to water pollution such as cholera. In China, about 90% of towns lack access to clean water. In developing countries, water pollution is heightened in various parts of major cities, such that about 90% of town dwellers lack access to clean water. In the United States, 32% of accessed bays, 47% of lake acres, 45% of assessed streamlines, and 32% of assessed estuaries are classified as polluted. Water is considered polluted if it contains some pathogens that does not support human use and aquatic life (Natural Resources Defense Council 1).
Water Pollution Categories
There are two categories of pollution; point and nonpoint sources. Point source pollution refers to a type of pollution whereby contaminations enter the water through a single and defined source. According to the US clean water Act, a point source includes discharge from a ditch or a pipe (Natural Resources Defense Council 12). Storm waters from the municipal sewage system, industrial activities, and construction sites forms water pollution from point source. In the case of point sources, pollutants are directly discharged into water. Another type of pollution is the nonpoint source pollution. Pollutants in the nonpoint source do not come from a defined source. Pollution in this case results from the cumulative effects of water contaminants, and may thus be described as indirect pollution. Pollution from a nonpoint source does not manifest directly, but shows its long-term effects later. There are various cases of nonpoint sources of pollution. For instance, continued use of some fertilizers may lead to leaching out of nitrogen from these farms into water bodies leading to pollution.
Although the contamination of water is grouped as point and nonpoint source, ground water is polluted through different mechanism that can be point source or nonpoint source. Ground water refers to water in the earth’s surface. Water from the surface of the earth seeps into the soil, and mixes with ground water. On the other hand, ground water seeps on the surface of the earth thereby mixing with water on the surface of the earth. Pollution result if the ground water carrying dissolved substances, such as chemicals from the farms mixes with clean ground water. In this case, pollution is described as contamination. On the other hand, ground water may dissolve underground chemicals, and carry the same to the surface water leading to pollution. Point sources can be controlled as opposed to nonpoint sources (Hogan 45).
Causes and Effects of Water Pollution
There are various causes of pollution. The first cause is pesticides. Pesticides used in the farms dissolve in water that later run off to other water bodies. Dissolved pesticides are carried through the water, and contaminate water bodies affecting aquatic life. Farming is the chief contributor of pesticides. For instance, in the region in the Midwestern part of the United States, more than $400 million is spent on treating water contaminated by pesticides. The most common pesticide is called Atrazinne. Fertilizers used on farms are also a big contributor to water pollution. Organic and inorganic fertilizers used in the farms contain components, such as phosphate, and nitrates. These nutrients dissolve in rain water, and are carried into streams and other water bodies.
Nitrogen and phosphates over-stimulates the growth of algae and aquatic plants leading to clogging of waterways. In addition, algae, and other aquatic plants prevent maximum penetration of sunlight into water affecting aquatic animals. Lack of enough sunlight congestion in the water may later kill the aquatic plants and animals, which later decompose creating dead zones. Dead zones are areas in the marine that has a little supply of oxygen and therefore supporting the little amount of aquatic life. Pollution resulting from nutrient deposition in water is common in river mouths and estuaries (Natural Resources Defense Council 2).
Water pollution is also caused by oil, additives, and gasoline spills. Petroleum products are mostly refined near the coastal regions. They are also transported through the sea. Cases of oil spills have been reported in various parts of the world. For instance the oil spill on the coast of Spain from Exxon Valdez has caused water pollution leading to the death of aquatic plants and animals. Petroleum products make a covering on the surface of the water body thereby preventing oxygen from entering the water.
This results in the death of the aquatic animals and life. The spill may affect fishermen because all the fish in the region of the spill normally dies. Oil spills from industries, and oil on land transits is carried by rain water, and deposited into large water bodies resulting in pollution. Gasoline and additives from storage tanks also leak, and finds its way to the water bodies thereby polluting it. In California, about a half of water supply system was shut down as a result of contamination from gasoline leaks. It is estimated that about 100,000 tanks of gasoline leak into the ground water every year (Grinning Planet 1). This means that aquatic life is at stake with continued deposition of gasoline and petroleum products.
Mining is also another cause of water pollution. Mining activities pollutes water in several ways. First, the process of mining digs up and exposes heavy metal, and compounds of sulfur locked in the earth. The exposed components are later carried by rain water or exposed as acid mine drainage through leaching. The acid mine may persist for a long time, and hamper agricultural activities. Also, pilings from mines are left exposed, and later acted on by rainwater. The rain water later transfers contaminated water to freshwater places. In the case of gold mines, cyanide is used to expose pure gold from gold mines. Since it is done in the open, cyanides is carried by rain water into rivers, and large water bodies thereby contaminating water.
Cyanide is a dangerous compound that can kill aquatic animals, and human beings. Also, mine wastes or slurry is habitually pilled at the dam. This is likely to burst leading to water pollution. Mining is a perpetual cause of water pollution. Mining companies damp some waste materials directly into the river leading to pollution. At the same time, mines even after closing continue to leach some poisonous chemicals into water bodies. For instance, in 1963 the US government ordered the closure of Iron mountain mine in California. However, the mine continues to leach some sulfur compounds into the Sacramento River. The river has turned bright orange with a PH of 3. This means the river is 10 times more acidic than a battery acid. According to expert analysis, the pollution is likely to continue for more than 3000 years (Grinning Planet 2).
Chemicals and industrial wastes are also the chief cause of water pollution. Chemical wastes from industries normally contain radioactive materials, dissolved metals, and chemical solvents. These materials are dumped into rivers thereby polluting water bodies. In the US, more than 34 billion liters are injected into underground pits through deep water well. Although this is a requirement of the law, the injection has been done carelessly, such that some pollutants have been filtered into underground water. Plastics are also sources of water pollution. When they are dumped carelessly, they are carried in water bodies where they interfere with aquatic animals. Plastic interfere with the smooth movement of aquatic life as they cause entanglement. At the same time, tiny plastics are ingested by aquatic animals, and later move through the food chain. Water pollution is also caused by raw sewer. In most developing countries, about 90% of sewage is dumped into rivers when poorly treated. In the US, about 850 billion gallons is damped in water through leakage. The sewer is carried to the beach water thereby impairing recreational activities (Schueler 78). Apart from the sewer, household insecticides, pharmaceuticals, and personal care products find their way into the water system and interfere with the food chain.
Solutions to the Problems of Water Pollution
The problem of water pollution has been voiced by various governments because it is an issue that affects life. Various laws have been formulated to combat the issue. In the US, the clean water act was enacted in 1970 to ensure an improved water quality. However, implementing the act has not been possible, and thus the problem of water pollution continues. There are various strategies that can be implemented to curb water pollution. The strategies are applied based on the area of concern. The first area is the reduction of sewage pollution. The society should ensure all outdated sewer pipes are repaired on time. The society should accept municipal tax for the upgrade of the sewage equipments. The local government should ensure there is a beach monitoring program in place to ensure that people are alerted in case of a sewage spill in the sea. There should be no straight pipe spillage whereby some people install straight pipes that spill the sewer directly to the creeks. Local governments and nongovernmental organizations should engage with local communities to enable them help local communicates maintain, and monitor septic system.
The septic system is a biomechanical device and thus requires an attention. Failure to maintain the septic system may empty the contents to the stream thereby polluting water. In addition, a clean water revolving fund should be set up to assist the municipal governments maintain the sewage system (Hogan 78).
Another strategy of reducing water pollution is managing and improving storm water, and watershed monitoring. Most of strategies to address water pollution should start from the watershed. This is because water normally flows from a raised surface. In fact, everyone lives in the upstream region. As a result, activities in the upstream should be managed well to prevent deliberate discharge of waste water into the stream. This means that human beings should preserve undeveloped land to ensure they soak up waste water. Streams buffer zones, and settlement ponds should also be constructed to allow trapping of waste water.
Activities by stopping and fighting deforestations also help in reducing water pollution. Generally, forests, and vegetation cover make a sponge-like cover that soaks up some waste water. This means the community should support laws against wanton destruction of forests. Water pollution should also be reduced through activities meant for reducing pesticide, and nutrient pollution. In the first place, the society should practice smart agricultural practices. These practices include no-tiling planting, biodynamic farming, construction of settling ponds, and using the right type of fertilizers. Also, efforts aimed at reducing urban runoff should be emphasized.
The solution to water pollution can also be done through reducing pollution from oil and petroleum liquids. Oil spills have been a nuisance to water sources. As a result, strict laws must be enacted to ensure there are strict penalties on those who cause oil spillages. Also, companies dealing with transportation of oil, and gasoline should ensure there are no gaps in the transporting vehicles. This can be ensured through adhering to strict maintenance schedule. The government should also ensure that there is a speedy loading, and unloading of tankers carrying petroleum products at the port. This will ensure little spillage at the port. The government should further ensure that the public is well educated on petroleum products, and how to manage pollution. On an individual basis, one should drive less or drive only when it is necessary. Driving less minimizes chances of spilling oil, and other petroleum products. Also, those owning vehicles should ensure that their vehicles are well maintained to minimize cases of spillage. What’s more, individuals must ensure they do not damp oil products anywhere, but instead use the designed mechanism to dispose the products.
Water pollution control should also be done through activities aimed at cleaning mining practices. The government should ensure that mining companies stick to dumping regulations. However, implementation of dumping laws by mining companies sometimes ignores dumping laws, and therefore keeps on dumping wastes from mines in the wrong way. As a result, citizens should actively be involved in monitoring activities of mining companies. This means local communities should monitor any activities, such as dumping materials in the wrong way. There are some mechanisms citizens must use to voice their complaints. For instance, a website called no dirty gold gives local communities the chance to report cases of wrongful dumping of materials from the mines (Grinning Planet 2).
Efforts aimed at cleaning pollution caused by chemicals, especially from large industries should be introduced. This can be done through the introduction of a polluter pay principle whereby one is heavily charged, depending on the amount of chemicals emitted in water bodies. Industries that have caused polluted Brownfield should be instructed to clean up their mess. The government should further ensure zero emission principles whereby no industry should be allowed to dump chemical wastes into the river. In addition, a precautionary measure should be adopted to ensure that no harmful chemical is dumped into rivers. This means that all chemicals should be declared toxic before they are analyzed. Individuals should also ensure very minimal use of chemical, such as pesticides in the homes. In cases in which there is a dire need of utilizing pesticides, care should be taken to follow strict dumping laws. Also, individuals should ensure they use organic products, such as green household cleaning agents (Newton 78).
Adoption of smart growth option at the coastal regions can help reduce water pollution. In most cases, the areas around the coastal regions are normally full of development activities. However, these activities make use of the coastal lands on activities that later result in pollution of water around the coastal areas. Also, expansive business activities, such as hotels, around the coast lead to uncontrolled dumping of wastes that lead to water pollution. As a result, the government should ensure that private developers adhere to smart building technology whereby they design structures based on modern urban plans. Smart building technology ensures that proper waste disposal methods have been followed.
Reduction of mercury emission to the environment can significantly reduce water pollution with mercury compounds. In the United States, about 40% of mercury emission comes from power plants. This means that efforts aimed at curbing mercury emission should mainly be focused on activities of power plants. In this case, the government should ensure that there are some strict laws on power plants to curb emission of mercury. Power industries, on the other hand, can apply scrubber technology to curb cases of mercury emission. Scrubber technology cleans the air in the power plant thereby eliminating about 90% traces of mercury (Grinning Planet 4).
There are other miscellaneous practices that can be adopted to curb water pollution. Most of them should be done by individuals as wells as corporate organizations. On an individual level, one should ensure proper dumping of waste products. Places where dumping takes place should be fenced to ensure that there are no leakages of wastes to the surrounding. Governments of countries with harbors should set cruise control laws guarding dumping. These laws will check on the dumping of graywater, untreated sewage, and petroleum products. Also, governments should implement tax shifting strategies. In this case, products that pollute water should be taxed heavily whereas products that do not pollute the environment should not be taxed. Finally, efforts should be made by the government and relevant stakeholders to educate the society on water pollution control methods (Burton and Pitt 49).
This paper has explored water pollution. From the information given, it has been established that water pollution is caused by individuals, companies, and activities of large industries among many. Water pollution is turning into a global deserter because the current state of water bodies portrays a devastating picture to aquatic life, agriculture, and posterity of water sources. Pollution is categorized as point and nonpoint source. It is caused by several activities that are mostly manmade.
This paper has discussed several causes of water pollution, including mining, industrial emissions of wastes, spilling of oil, additives, and gasoline spills, and leakages from sewage system among many. In addition, it has been discovered that the chemicals and industrial wastes are also the chief cause of water pollution. Pollution of water disrupts aquatic life and is harmful to human beings. As a result, various strategies to reduce water pollution have been discussed. These strategies include efforts from the government, organizations, companies, and individuals.
Burton, Allen and Robert Pitt. Stormwater Effects Handbook: A Toolbox for Watershed Managers, Scientists, and Engineers. New York: CRC/Lewis Publishers, 2001.
Grinning Planet. “Water pollution causes.” 2000. Grinning Planet. 08 March 2013 <http://www.grinningplanet.com/2005/09-06/water-pollution-causes-article.htm>.
Hogan, Michael. Water pollution. Washington, DC: National Council on Science and the Environment, 2010.
Natural Resources Defense Council. “Water.” 2010. Natural Resources Defense Council. 08 March 2013 <http://www.nrdc.org/water/>.
Newton, David. Chemistry of the Environment. Checkmark Books, 2010.
Schueler, Thomas. Microbes and Urban Watersheds: Concentrations, Sources, & Pathways. Ellicott City, MD: Center for Watershed Protection, 2000.
West, Larry. “World Water Day: A Billion People Worldwide Lack Safe Drinking Water.” 2006. Environmental conservation. 07 March 2013 <http://environment.about.com/od/environmentalevents/a/waterdayqa.htm>.
Poverty effects access to clean water in African/Asian
How does poverty affect water quality and access to clean water?
Water is a basic human need; there is nothing in the planet that can survive without water. It is estimated that 2.8 billion people around the world do not have access to clean and safe water. Most of this people are located in the developing countries in Africa/ Asia. This means that more than 40% of the world’s population. Access to drinking water is a serious global water issue, which mainly affects the poor. The main issues concerning water include availability of water locally, the quality of water and ability to obtain it. Further, 1.6 billion do not access clean water even though the water is available locally. Many people who leave desert areas have to travel long distances since they cannot be able to drill wells even though the water is passing below them.
Lack of access to clean water leads to other profound socio-economic repercussion, for instance, women/ girls have to travel long distances in search of water. This leads to time wastage, which would have been used in other income-generating factor. This means that poverty and water problems are inter-related. Water pollution and contamination can as well be linked to poverty. Therefore, it is possible to find areas where the water is available but due to contamination and pollution, people are not able to access clean water. Statistics show that around 2 million people die every areas due to sanitation related diseases associated to lack of clean water.
Further, unclean water, sanitation, hygiene and water unavailability contribute to 50 % to maternal underweight and child mortality in developing countries. Most of water contamination can be associated with lack of good management of human waste. Poverty affects the ability of people to manage human waste, which then affects accessibility. Therefore, poverty and Lack of water are inter-related. According to IRIN (2006), poor people survive on low income, poor housing, public services and public services. This makes them turn to the environment for sustainability, which leads to contamination of an already vulnerable environment. This also can be associated with other natural disasters like floods, rain scarcity and other disasters. In addition, depending on environment for survivor leads to destruction of water catchment areas, which makes water accessibility worse.
List certain surprising facts about water quality around the world
Quality of water accessible for human consumption is depended on both natural factors or human factors but the most catastrophic are caused by human factors. In recent years, water quality in the globe has been declining as population increases and agricultural and industrial activities are intensified. According to EPA(2012), the following facts were surprising facts about water:
It is estimated that 44% of assessed streams, 64% of assessed lakes and 30% of assessed bay are not clean enough for even swimming and fishing.
Leading water pollutants are bacteria, mercury, phosphorus, nitrogen and low content of oxygen caused decomposing organic material. This means that water contamination can be traced to poor waste management, which can be associated with poverty. Water pollution sources include air deposition; agricultural waste and hydrologic modification are which are because of human activities.
Discuss interesting facts that were researched in attached information
A report by UNICEF found that 22000 children die daily due to poverty but the rest of the world remains unaware because most die in worlds remote areas. Most of these deaths go unreported and therefore, the world is not conscious of this injustice. This should not be happening in 21st century where the world focus is on the global human rights. Therefore, it is a violation of human rights for any person to die due to poverty related causes in the 21st century.
The poorest 40% accounts for 5% of global income while 20 % of world richest account for more than 75% of total world income. This is a clear indication of the disparity between the poor and the rich and statistics shows that the gap continues to widen. If the world is going to reduce the poverty index, policy interventions have to be put in place that will aim at reducing the disparity between the rich and the poor. The increasing number of poor people in the world will continue to jeopardize effort to supply clear water. This is because poor people are not able to manage the human waste, which then leads to water pollution and contamination.
It is interesting to learn that half the humanity has water related problems. Different people in the world are experiencing various challenges caused by water. It is interesting to note that two-third of all people who do not have access to clean water earn less than a dollar per day. This means that those people are not able to install piped water into their homes, which means they do not have access to clean water. This leads to other findings like; 1.8 million children die per year because of diarrhea.
IRIN (2006, Oct). Running Dry: the humanitarian impact of the global water crisis. http://www.irinnews.org/indepthmain.aspx?InDepthId=13&ReportId=61155
EPA (2012, Oct 16). Water quality facts. US Environmental protection Agency http://water.epa.gov/aboutow/owow/waterqualityfacts.cfm
POVERTY EFFECTS ACCESS TO CLEAN WATER IN AFRICAN/ASIAN 5
Running Head: POVERTY EFFECTS ACCESS TO CLEAN WATER IN AFRICAN/ASIAN 1
COMMUNITY ASSESSMENT (PUBLIC AND SOCIAL SERVICES)
The Philippine country is situated in an island and this explains the reason as to why the members are prone to experience a number of natural hazards. The most common experienced hazard is the one related to the mishaps that arise from flash floods around the area. The most affected people are those who live at the river banks and these people consist of the poor who are there to make a living by selling fish. They build structures which act as their homes as well as their business structures forgetting the risk of being affected by natural hazards that might occur due to the nearness to the water source. Thus, the reasons as to why most of the Filipinos experience these natural hazards are due to the population pressure and a limited access to resources.
Critically looking at a hazard situation arising from a typhoon, the Philippines face a number of unanticipated events that render most of them homeless and many of the individuals end up as casualties as a good number die from the incident. In an occurrence of such a tragedy, the following usually occur; some people are caught at the sea unawares and cry for help, the inhabitants run to their rescue, a number of people drown due to lack of early rescue, those saved from the calamity suffer severe injuries, the inhabitants affected with the same have their homes blown away, their property are destroyed thus left with no homes and the same time no way of making a living (Delfin, 25).
In the event of the above scenario, there are a number of emergency actions taken. First and foremost, the emergency agencies are expected to be there as soon as the incident happens in order to rescue the situation. The emergency agencies are often made aware of the kind of calamities prone to occur at specific places and take the responsibility of ensuring they are well prepared to face the situation in case it occurs (Earle, 177). The measures taken by the emergency agencies build trust between them and the community. Thus, the emergency agencies keep in store food and materials that they distribute to the people in the occurrence of a natural hazard. For the people who drown in the water, they are rescued by both the inhabitants and the emergency agencies. The casualties are offered immediate medication by being given first aid then transported to Manila where they receive proper treatment.
Those who have been rendered homeless by the occurrence of the unanticipated storm are given temporary homes to shelter which include camps, thereafter, the inhabitants are made aware of the occurrence of such incidents and told the measures to take to prepare them for such disasters. The measures include, living a distance away from the sea and making sure they are always ready to face such incidents by staying united and helping out each other at such times. The Filipinos are empowered through enlightening programs which educate them on how to deal with environmental issues (Allen, 303).
Looking at the above discussion, it is clear that natural hazards are inevitable especially to those locations around water catchments areas i.e. Philippine. The occurrences of such calamities are unpredictable and they come about with unanticipated aftermaths that greatly affect those involved. Air pollution refers to the emission of harmful substances in form of particles into the atmosphere. There are many types of pollutants categorized as primary and secondary pollutants. The primary pollutants are the type of pollutants that directly pollute the air through their emission and the secondary pollutants are the ones that are formed from the interaction and reaction of the primary pollutants. Air pollution leads to the formation of the ozone layer hence, the causes of pollution of air include; sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, ammonia, and dust, just a few to mention. These pollutants have adverse effects on the environment and the health of all animals. The environment is tampered with and the people who suffer most from the existence of the air pollutants are human beings. In this case, it leads to cancer and other illnesses that are risky to human life. To remedy air pollution, it takes the initiative of both individual people and the government in place through legal regulations. However, the main participant in the control of air pollution is the government.
Air pollution is an issue that needs to be addressed with keen concentration. Air pollution is caused by human beings and trees. Hence, the use of trees reduces air pollution. The trees have the ability to make use of polluted air and emit pure air and this supports the idea of the use of trees as an example of an application of science in an attempt to solve the air pollution issue. They say that, the trees can be used to reduce air pollution through the use of the leaves. The leaves have the stomata that take in carbon (IV) oxide and emit oxygen. In this case, through the use of the leaves’ stomata, the trees are able to use the air polluted in their growth and in turn produce clean air that is required for human breathing. On the other hand purports that, the use of trees is definitely a precise and the best way of dealing with air pollution since it is natural. In this case; the issue needs to be addressed amicably considering the aspects that could help in the reduction of air pollution. Since the effects of air pollution are adverse to the human existence and all animals in whole, the need of curbing air pollution would lead to the reduction of health problems.
The use of trees would represent a good solution to curbing the emission of polluted air. It is evident that, causes and the effects of air pollution could be reduced through the use of a natural means which include the use of trees. Critically looking at a hazard situation arising from a typhoon, the Philippines face a number of unanticipated events that render most of them homeless and many of the individuals end up as casualties as a good number die from the incident. In an occurrence of such a tragedy, the following usually occur; some people are caught at the sea unawares and cry for help, the inhabitants run to their rescue, a number of people drown due to lack of early rescue, those saved from the calamity suffer severe injuries, the inhabitants affected with the same have their homes blown away, their property are destroyed thus left with no homes and the same time no way of making a living. In terms of detailed events and expected emergency action responses, necessary measures should be taken into account. In the event of the above scenario, there are a number of emergency actions taken.
First and foremost, the emergency agencies are expected to be there as soon as the incident happens in order to rescue the situation. The emergency agencies are often made aware of the kind of calamities prone to occur at specific places and take the responsibility of ensuring they are well prepared to face the situation in case it occurs. The measures taken by the emergency agencies build trust between them and the community. Thus, the emergency agencies keep in store food and materials that they distribute to the people in the occurrence of a natural hazard. For the people who drown in the water, they are rescued by both the inhabitants and the emergency agencies. The casualties are offered immediate medication by being given first aid then transported to Manila where they receive proper treatment. Those who have been rendered homeless by the occurrence of the unanticipated storm are given temporary homes to shelter which include camps, thereafter, the inhabitants are made aware of the occurrence of such incidents and told the measures to take to prepare them for such disasters. The measures include, living a distance away from the sea and making sure they are always ready to face such incidents by staying united and helping out each other at such times. The Filipinos are empowered through enlightening programs which educate them on how to deal with environmental issues.
Nursing as a profession, involves the interaction of a variety of individuals including doctors, physicians and patients. These people further differ in terms of age, culture, gender, color, race and language. It is essential that a nurse learns to interact with all these kinds of people without causing conflicts. Looking at the gender factor, men and women differ in their ways of thinking. The men tend to portray a behavior characterized with confidence, power and dominance. On the other hand, women portray a behavior that includes care, intimacy and emotional expression. This difference brought about in gender, has significant impacts on the nursing practice in hospitals and communities.
The nursing profession tends to be predominated by the females and hence, the other medical practitioners treat them as inferior. For instance, in the hospital where I work, being a public hospital, there are many people who come in and go. In most cases, you will see a nurse, at the sight of a physician; she stands up and leaves the seat to the physician. Is not this lack of diversity? All people are equal regardless of gender and this should be a guiding factor to practicing diversity.
There are a number of things that could be done to promote diversity. This could be done through educating people on the importance of appreciating other people’s culture and promotion of equality amongst individuals of all ages, gender, color and ethnic backgrounds. Discrimination refers to the unequal treatment of people basing on race, gender, color, social class, culture and many other demographic factors. I have practiced discrimination in terms of gender unknowingly. This is when; I believe that aggressiveness is not a woman’s character and thus, demonstrate an emotional character towards all people around me.
The United States federal government has a number of agencies which carry out different duties for the betterment of the United States of America. These duties are clearly outlined in each agency and to ensure they are carried out successfully, they are outlined in the budget of the United States referred to as Office of Management and Budget which is usually passed every year. These agencies have different positions in the administrative federal government making them have different effects on the U.S government. Thus, the examples of agencies include; the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Environmental Justice Coalition (EJC). These agencies can be classified under the executive departments and independent agencies. The executive departments rely on the cabinet proceedings for them to perform their duties, whereas the independent agencies can perform their duties without the cabinet involvement. Among the four agencies mentioned above, three are executive agencies and one is an independent agency. Thus, the United States Environmental Protection Agency is the only independent agency among the agencies mentioned.
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is also an executive agency under the department of the interior. It deals with the management of public lands. Its major goals are to be able to maintain the diversity and productivity of the public lands. Thus, several committees rely on this agency. For instance, those that are involved with the public land directly. For instance, the land ministry controls the budget request of this agency. It lays out the needs of the government in relation to land and then the Bureau Land Management takes over from there. Under the budget, allocation of funds is done in a manner that this agency gets its fair share that is able to sustain the needs that the public land workers present. Thus, it is clear that this agency cannot work on its own as it is also controlled by other subcommittees in the form of acts such as the Homestead Act, Desert Land Act and Taylor Grazing Act. In its operation, it deals with the regulation of activities to do with fishing, hunting, boating and hiking. All these activities are geared towards maintaining a healthy land in the United States.
The last but not least agency is the Environmental Protection agency. This agency is an independent one thus, does not rely on the cabinet decisions for its operations. Though it is funded by the government, its decision making about its duties is based on the management in place. It deals with issues dealing with the environment and human health. It does this by coming up with regulations and enforcing them in relation to the views passed by congress. The subcommittees that control this agency are those to do with the air quality, oil pollution, water sense ,radiation protection, land , endangered species and hazardous waste, just a few to mention. However, the administrator of this agency is given a cabinet rank even though its operation is not controlled by the cabinet. That is why; the federal government includes this agency in the making of the budget because it plays a critical role in the protection of the environment (Environmental Justice Coalition (EJC), par 4).
Allen, K. Vulnerability reduction and the community-based approach. In Natural Disasters and Development in a Globalizing World. London: Routledge Publishers.2003. Print
Delfin, F., G. A review of the nature and impact of environmental disasters in the Philippines. Philippine Geographical Journal .49(14). Pp. 744. 2005. Print
Earle, T.C. Thinking aloud about trust: a protocol analysis of trust in risk management, Risk Analysis journal. 24 (3). Pp. 169-83. 2004. Print
Environmental Justice Coalition (EJC). Environmental Justice act of 2009. Washington: Environmental Justice Coalition. 2008. Print
Running Head: Recommended an approach to integrate EIA and EMS
Environmental Impact Assessment or EIA is the assessment of likely positive or negative impacts that proposed projects may present to the environment. The main aim of the EIA is to make sure that the decision makers take into account the resulting environmental impacts when resolving whether to carry on with the project (Glasson, 2005). Environmental management system or EMS is the management of the organization’s or companies’ environmental programs in a systematic, comprehensive, documented and planned manner (Goetsch, 2001). The EMS includes planning of resources for developing the organizational structures, the implementation and maintenance policies for the environmental protection.
EIA and EMS are both the international standards ISO 14001 tools that are available to the organizations to address the impacts of their projects or activities to the environment. EIA is usually used as the decision aiding tool rather than the decision making tool. EMS, on the other hand, serves as a tool in improving the environmental performance. It provides a clear and systematic process of managing the organization’s environmental affairs.
The strengths of EIA
EIA aid the efficiency of a project. The efficiency often saves the organization’s resources by allowing them change their developments plans rather than realize later that the project causes pollution. EIA has a versatile application range (Petts, 2005). It is usually applied to the major projects. Although EIA concentrates mainly on the construction projects, it is applied in any nation, and the developing nations often use some EIA standards. the EIA processes shows governments and companies are concerned about the projects and their resulting effect to the environment.
Weakness of EIA
EIA processes usually rely heavily on examinations and technical data. If the technical data is inaccurately measured, or the EIA system lacks access to proper tools, the results will be ineffective. EIA brings about delays for both the company and government projects. The delays are usually annoying for the planners especially when dealing with projects with tight deadlines. As a result, the EIA projects assessment are sometimes hurried without conducting the full assessment. The preparation and the follow up activities are the vital for the successful EIA. The preparation is important in fully studying the environment while the follow up process is vital in ensuring that EIA accurately note any environmental potential problems. However, many organizations skip these key steps in environmental assessment (Petts, 2005).
Strengths of EMS
The correct application and use of EMS lead to the efficient use of energy and materials. This leads to the reduction of waste outputs produced by an organization and the eventual reduction of costs. The EMS is an international standard that is well recognized. The consumers with the awareness and knowledge of EMS feel assured by the EMS standard and its related ethical intentions. The EMS gives the organization and companies the mandate of controlling its environmental impacts and aspects on its own products, processes and services (Goetsch, 2001).
Weakness of EMS
EMS lacks the general within organizations and the public. The awareness of EMS standards is widespread in the large companies. The smaller businesses usually lack the awareness on the EMS. The only element of the EMS that is made public is usually the environment policy statement. The EMS, as a result, lacks the required transparency. The other EMS elements such as the audits and targets are private unless an organization wishes to the results public. The cost of implementing EMS and certification is basically high. The business should always evaluate the associated benefits of certification with the cost that is associated with the EMS (Goetsch, 2001).
In conclusion, the EIA and EMS have helped thousands of organizations in improving and reducing their environmental impacts. However, it is apparent that there are opportunities in improving the EIA and EMS in meeting the future challenges.
Glasson, J. (2005). The Introduction to Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). London: Routledge.
Goetsch, D. (2001). Requirements of ISO14001 Environmental Management System. London: Prentice Publishers.
Petts, J. (2005). Handbook of Environmental Impact Assessment. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.
Recommended an approach to integrate EIA and EMS
Recommended an approach to integrate EIA and EMS
Recycling Hazardous Waste
Hazardous waste refers to used material that is potentially detrimental to human health or the environment. These wastes can be sludge, gases, solids or liquids used either at home or in the industries and include commercial products discarded after use such as pesticides or manufacturing by-products. Their potential harm thus necessitates the need to recycle and where impossible, safe disposal that will have no impact on individuals and the environment. Different methods, if followed, can effectively ensure recycling of these products for beneficial use of the industrial process, while ensuring safety of both the environment and humans.
The purpose of recycling is to trim down on raw material and energy use. By burning hazardous waste as fuel, there is a reduction in direct energy consumption of energy sources such as petroleum, biofuel and coal in thermal electricity production. The hazardous wastes in this case, therefore, are used for direct combustion in electricity production or as ingredients for the fuel production (EPA 2). The wastes which are candidates for incineration include solvents and used oils included as ingredients for burning coal for electricity generation. Because of the potential for release of toxic byproducts during the combustion process, regulations by EPA help to ensure that these toxins do not find their way into the atmosphere thereby polluting the air. Starved air incineration controls the amount of oxygen used in combustion, thereby reducing the quantity of byproducts produced. Pyrolyis, which involves the use of an electrical arc at high temperature, provides an alternative for combustion, especially for organic wastes such as pesticides and PCBs. The process is especially preferable to combustion as it releases fewer pollutants into the atmosphere.
Hazardous material can also be directly applied to land as fertilizer (Constituting disposal), or used in making fertilizer. An ideal example for this purpose is asphalt, used as an ingredient in making fertilizer (EPA 3). The potential risk of contamination on land and ground water when direct application of the HW is done on land however requires that the wastes be effectively detoxified to reduce their toxicity (Minnesota Pollution Control Agency 31). The regulation for detoxification evaluates the potency of the HW in the product, and when found unbefitting, declares the recycling a sham, and therefore illegal to place on land (EPA 3). Adding HW to land also includes sequestering the waste into a hazardous waste landfill. The land must however not be an underground mine, a salt bed or salt dome formation. This disposal isolates the HW to the particular land.
Direct use and reuse of the hazardous material in place of a raw material has been yet another recycling method for hazardous waste. The HW in this case is used as a component for making a product in a manufacturing process. Further, the HW can also substitute a product in the manufacturing process. It is however important that the waste used directly as a product, be able to function similarly as the product it is substituting (EPA 4). Reusing such ingredients ensures that both the environment and humans remain out of harm’s way from these wastes. Phosphates from lead acid batteries are an example of materials that can be used in cement production to increase the strength of Portland cement, or reduce the curing time. At the same time, these wastes can be used in making other products. For instance, electronic circuit boards are potential candidates where ashes from their burnt residues, bound to other pollutants make easily disposable solids as well as their use for filing pavements (Chaudhary & Rachana 270).
In instances where the waste cannot be used directly, reclaiming parts of the hazardous waste presents another recycling option for these materials. Reclamation here involves recovery of usable materials from these wastes. Instances of reclamation include solvent cleaning and purification for reuse and mercury recovery from broken thermometers. Additionally, used oil can also be refined to make it reusable, thus reclaiming it from hazardous wastes. The process of reclamation is also, like the rest of the recycling process, governed by EPA regulations, although some other wastes may enjoy relief from such regulation. The guidelines are founded on the level of toxicity of the reclaimed waste. Reclamation also involves the modification of hazardous wastes into useful raw material for production of other products. Scrap metal, for example can be reclaimed and the metal components used for making iron for other purposes, or indeed modified as spares.
Different recycling methods are available for hazardous material. Depending on the hazardous waste, one of the methods stated above offers a leeway for the effective recycling of these wastes, while ensuring both human and environmental safety from these harmful wastes. Indeed, careless disposal plagues the environment, with potential danger to human health. Regulations for the recycling provided by the Environmental Protection Agency ensure that each of the wastes is properly recycled according to its level of harm, while adhering to set industry standards.
Chaudhary Rhodes & Rachana May. Factors affecting hazardous waste solidification/stabilization: A Review. Journal of Hazardous Materials 137(2006):267276
EPA. Safe Hazardous Waste Recycling. EPA, 2011. Web. 8 September 2013
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. Recycling Hazardous Waste. Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, 2011. Web. 8 September 2013
Value Stream Mapping
Value stream mapping is a term used to define a manufacturing procedure through which the design of raw materials as well as relevant information that can help to deliver the end product to a customer is established. The concept employs supportive methods applicable in lean environments to help minimize wastage of materials and avoid unnecessary processes and stages of production (Carreira 88).
Why value stream mapping is important to apply
Value stream mapping is an important tool that can be used to visualize and understand how raw materials and important information flow through the value stream chain in order to identify activities that do not add value to the end product. This ensures that there will be minimal wastage of materials as well as the amount of time spent on production (90). Value stream mapping also identifies areas of improvements by ensuring that only the necessary stages of product development are focused and invested in. This allows the company to specialize its knowledge and expertise on processes and levels of production that are important while turning down any processes that are bound to add little or no value to the end product (102).
Value stream mapping enhances the overall gain of the larger organizations by integrating value adding plans with organization goals while identifying potential areas through which waste and the subsequent losses can be incurred thereby creating an opportunity for positive improvement. Application of value stream mapping is equally important since organizations are able to deliver products that are of optimum value to the customers at the right time and in high quality (118). While this ensures customers’ satisfaction though purchasing of high quality products at an affordable price, it maximizes a company’s profitability through eliminating unnecessarily expensive production processes (123).
Value stream mapping is an important concept in any product development process since it presents a cost effective manufacturing procedure that minimizes any possible wastage of production resources while maximizing the ultimate value of the product delivered to the customer.
Carreira, Bould. Lean Manufacturing That Works: Powerful Tools for Dramatically Reducing Waste and Maximizing Profits, Journal of American Management Association, 33.2(2005): 87-128.
Biohazardous Waste Management in California
To function effectively, populations need clean and support physical environments. Technological processes culminate in pollution that leads to environmental deterioration. The increasing need for high quality products leads to refining of production processes. The complex production procedures generate voluminous wastes that are infectious and toxic. The wastes pose various health risks to the population and contaminate the natural environment. Ideally, global populations cannot avoid generation of wastes entirely. Besides technological and manufacturing processes, natural processes emit a certain percentage of wastes in the environment. Nonetheless, wastes from these natural processes are minimal and the concentration of toxic substances is low. As such, these wastes are harmless to both the environment and populations. This state differs considerably from the nature of bio hazardous wastes.
Furr (2000) defines hazardous wastes as those whose concentration, quantity, chemical characteristics, or physical characteristics potentially cause substantial harm to the environment or human health. In most cases, this occurs in instances where relevant institutions fail to handle the wastes properly, store them safely, transport them effectively, or manage them accordingly. In addition to chemical hazardous wastes, biological hazardous wastes cause significant harm to the environment and humans. Since waste production is unavoidable, nation states take practical measures to address the problem of bio hazardous wastes. In this regard, the states formulate, enforce, and implement laws, legislations, and standards to address the problem. This helps in ensuring that affected institutions adhere to the established standards and refrain from emitting huge volumes of these wastes in the environment.
Just like other countries, California struggles with the problem of bio hazardous wastes in different ways. Notably, these wastes have far-reaching impacts on the functioning of this society. They emanate from wide ranging scientific, research, medical and manufacturing institutions and organizations. The country has developed distinctive legal procedures and standards that govern relative production processes.
In addition, it has domesticated the provisions of the National Environmental Protection Agency. It is against this background that this paper evaluates the management of bio hazardous wastes in California. It begins by explaining the concept of bio hazardous wastes from the point of view of the Basel Convention. Then, it proceeds to detailing the lifecycle of bio hazardous waste management and underscores emergent technologies that are used for treating the wastes. Finally, it explores various legislations and laws that govern bio hazardous waste management.
The Concept of Bio hazardous Wastes
According to Yenice, Maden and Cakir (2009), biological hazardous wastes constitute any waste materials with presence or reasonably anticipated presence of infectious material or blood. It also refers to waste materials contaminated with liquids of animal or plant origin excluding urine. Accordingly, there are various categories of biohazards. Pathological wastes range from animal carcasses and tissues to organs and other body parts (Yenice et al, 2009). They are also inclusive of products related to conception, teeth, fluids that are removed from bodies during surgery, autopsy, and trauma, or during any medical procedure.
The second category pertains to sharp waste. This refers to various objects that easily penetrate, or can pierce human skin (Kaiser, Eagan & Shaner, 2001). Examples in this respect include razor blades, scalpels, capillary tubes, needles, intravenous tubing that has an attached needle, and broken contaminated glass amongst others. Another class is the solid bio hazardous waste category. This contains various bio hazardous solid wastes that do not penetrate the skin. Typical examples are syringes that do not have needles, plastic pipettes, culture flasks, gloves and bio hazardous animal bedding. Finally, liquid bio hazardous wastes assume a liquid form and include animal and human blood, tissue cultures, and bodily fluids (Garcia, 1999).
As indicated above, a significant percentage of these wastes emanate from blood banks and related blood collecting centers, animal research institutions, mortuaries, nursing homes, and healthcare establishments (Silva, Hoppe, Ravanello & Mello, 2005). In California, the rate of generation of wastes from these institutions is dependent on a range of factors. These include the waste management methods, type of facilities, the proportion of recyclable items, the number of patients and so forth. After generation, the wastes undergo various waste management processes.
Bio hazardous Waste Management Cycle
Due to the toxic nature of the bio hazardous wastes, Yenice (2009) recommends that measures should be taken to prevent incidences of poisoning and environmental pollution. Persons handling these wastes at all stages have protective clothing at all times. In addition, they undergo training to acquire relevant skills and knowledge that are vital for preventing any form of contamination. Most importantly, practical measures are undertaken to prevent or minimize human contact with the wastes. The management process has various phases that constitute different procedures.
Generation, Collection, Segregation, and Storage
During this stage, the wastes are produced from various institutional processes and procedures. These wastes may be placed in holding containers during this phase of the cycle. For instance, bio hazardous wastes from medical procedures may be placed in specific containers in the particular rooms. The respective wastes are collected and put in individual leak proof containers. In his research, Dutta (2002) indicates that the container holding the wastes should have sufficient structural integrity. Seemingly, this is instrumental in preventing accidental releases to the environment or possible spillages. To ensure efficiency, the collection and segregation of the wastes takes place simultaneously.
With respect to solid wastes, Bennet (1997) indicates that these are placed in red bags that line the bio-boxes. In cases where satellite containers are used, these have universal bio hazard symbols on the outside. The collection bags are usually orange or red in color and likewise, they have the universal bio hazard symbol. In some instances, institutions prefer treating the wastes on site using the autoclave method. In such cases, Lausten (2007) cites that clear autoclave bags are placed in rigid containers are used for collection. Once they are full, they are removed and prior to disinfection, collectors affix the bio hazard symbol. The bio hazardous wastes capable of puncturing the autoclave or red bags are placed in small sturdy containers before being put in the bags. To ensure safety, all the bags are covered, unless in instances when the wastes are being added to them.
Regarding liquid wastes, Ikehata and Liu (2012) state that these are collected in containers that are compatible with the respective wastes. Just like with solid wastes, a universal biohazards symbol is put on the container, after which it is placed in secondary containment. This measure is vital for preventing spills that may occur in the course of collection. After the wastes have been segregated, they are collected from specific centers using carts. This is done by personnel that are well trained to handle bio hazardous wastes safely. Usually, they wear protective clothing including lab coats, gloves, and safety glasses.
In their research, Sinha, Heart, Bharambe and Brahambhatt (2010) found that certain institutions have on site treatment facilities while others prefer contractual services. Usually, institutions with on site waste treatment facilities simply decontaminate the wastes in order to achieve its disinfection. After this, the wastes are considered regular waste and thus, they are disposed with other wastes. Common treatment practices that are employed by these institutions include steam sterilization and chemical inactivation. After the wastes have been collected, institutions that employ contractual services store their wastes to await transportation to the treatment site.
Transportation of Wastes
During this, Patil and Pokhrel (2005) indicate that the wastes are placed in additional containers such as bins and cardboards before being loaded in the transporting vehicle. This is advantageous because it reduces human contact with the respective wastes. Usually, these vehicles have a bio hazardous symbol on the outside. Once the wastes are loaded, their doors are closed tightly and they are transported immediately and quickly to the treatment site. To avoid possible infections and prevent disruption of the process of collection, transporters perform their duties during the day or at night when there is less traffic (Dutta, 2002).
Treatment of the Waste
Upon arrival at the treatment site, the wastes are unloaded accordingly. Prior to treatment, relevant measures are taken to disinfect the waste. Usually, this is in a bid to prevent infections by persons who come in physical contact with the waste during treatment. The treatment options are consistent with certain standards that govern the entire process. At the end of the process, the quantity of wastes needs to be smaller and the concentration of toxicity lower (Sinha et al, 2010). In certain cases, the wastes are recycled and taken back to the facilities for re use. The process of treatment is multifaceted but comprises of shredding in order to reduce the quantity of the waste. In addition, it alters the chemical composition of the wastes by reducing its toxicity.
Transport of Residual
After treatment, the respective contractor assumes the responsibility of transporting the treatment residue to disposal sites. Usually, the type of transportation at this stage depends of the nature of treatment that the wastes undergo (Hossain, Santhanam, Norulaini & Omar, 2011). In selective cases, the wastes maintain structural properties that they had prior to treatment. Regardless, important safety standards are upheld at all times. For instance, the vehicles transporting the wastes are covered and personnel have protective clothing.
According to Birpinar, Bilgili and Erdogan (2009), relevant authorities ensure that the treated residue is disposed appropriately. Since a significant percentage of treatment procedures are effective, it is unlikely that the waste has adverse effects on the environment. Nonetheless, the bio hazardous wastes are treated with extra caution because they are considered to be potentially dangerous, even after undergoing treatment (Birpinar et al, 2009). For this reason, they are placed in a dedicated spot within the disposal locations. The disposal procedures that transport personal use are usually a product of the operations at the disposal sites and nature of the waste.
Emergent Technologies of Bio Hazardous Waste Treatment
Bio hazardous wastes have adverse effects on human health and the general wellbeing of the environment. This explains why measures have been undertaken to reduce their effects on the preceding facets. Although traditional or classical approaches aim at meeting this goal, they are less efficient and emit wastes in the environment. Ultimately, they undermine the fundamental goal of protecting the environment and promoting human health.
To address this concern, better technologies have been developed in this field of specification. Comparatively, these are more efficient and emit minimal wastes to the environment. Sinha et al (2010) cites that the electronic beam technologies are some of the newest with regards to bio hazardous waste management. They do not affect the quantity of the waste, but rather inactivate microorganisms that might be present in the wastes. The fact that they are automated makes them efficient. The wastes that are treated using this method include materials that are contaminated with blood, stocks, sharps, cultures, surgery wastes and body fluids amongst others.
Other emergent technologies include biological systems. From an environmental point of view, Ikehata and Liu (2012) argue that these are the most viable strategies. The bio converter instrument uses enzyme mixture to decontaminate the bio hazardous wastes. This results in sludge that is passed through an extruder in order to drain water. The fact that this technology is suitable for large applications makes it idyllic. Emergent research shows that this mode of waste management is increasingly being employed in Agricultural environments to treat organic animal wastes too. Compared to the conventional incineration, the abovementioned technologies are effective and environmentally benign.
Legal Dimension of Bio hazardous Waste Management
California has various legal provisions that govern the management of bio hazardous waste. Persons and institutions who contravene these provisions are penalized in different ways. The legal provisions are enforced by different regulatory bodies. In their review, Mostafa, Shazly and Sherif (2009) ascertain that the legal provisions are enforced at local, institutional, and national levels. These provide important standards that handlers of bio hazardous wastes adhere to. Besides enhancing the safety of work environments, these provisions are critical in promoting and sustaining human health.
To begin with, the provisions of the US Environmental Management Act are related to the Californian bio hazardous waste management in different ways. Essentially, these provisions require all waste producing agencies to adhere to the laid down standards. By regulating the concentration of emissions, the standards are instrumental in ensuring that generators of bio hazardous waste do not pollute the environment (Rosenfield & Feng, 2011). Further the provisions allow the enforcement bodies to bring to book persons and institutions that contravene the standards.
Then, the California Medical Waste Management Act requires affected institutions to develop comprehensive waste management plans on a yearly basis. Nussbaum (2008) indicates that these plans provide important information pertaining to waste generation, collection, treatment and disposal in these institutions. Once the institutions submit the plans, they are issued with permits and other approval documents. Further, the Act requires the enforcement body to inspect all the locations in order to ensure full compliance to the regulatory provisions.
Another important legislation is the San Francisco Medical Waste Management Program. According to Charney (1999), it compels all medical waste generators to have a detailed waste management system. Once they develop and submit their plans, medical waste generating institutions are issued with permits to execute their duties accordingly. In order to be issued with these certificates, the institutions are required to participate in actively in annual inspections that are undertaken by the regulatory body.
Fourthly, the California Occupational Exposure to Blood-borne Pathogen Standard is also an important legal provision. Specifically, the standards are documented in Title 8, under section 5193 (Marinkovic, Vitale, Holcer, Dzakula & Pavic, 2008). This standardization plan requires affected institutions to place medical wastes in bags or containers that are labeled, closable and color-coded. According to the Act, the containers need to have a universal biohazard symbol too. In addition, this provision stipulates that the containers should be constructed in such a way that they prevent any leakages during collection, storage, handling or transportation of the wastes. The guidelines contained herein instruct handlers of the sharps to dispose them after use in leak proof, closable, and puncture resistance labeled containers. Finally, the legislation requires relevant personnel to ensure that all sharp containers are accessible.
Also worth mentioning is the Hazardous Material Transportation Act. This outlines that haulers of bio hazardous wastes should be registered as transporters (Lausten, 2007). It requires them to uphold regulatory standards in the course of transporting the wastes. Also, transporters are required by this law to maintain documents that track the entire transportation process. In addition, it prohibits the haulers from transporting bio hazardous wastes with other wastes. With respect to infectious wastes, the Comprehensive Accreditation Manual for Hospitals of 2008 directs medical institutions to dispose the wastes in a timely manner, in line with the institutional waste program (Rosenfield & Feng, 2011).
Finally, the provisions of the Basel Convention of 1992 relate to management of hazardous wastes too. Bennet (2007) indicates that this policy requires generators of bio hazardous wastes to minimize their production and treat the wastes as close as possible to the source. Essentially, it prohibits trans-boundary movement of these wastes and advocates for onsite treatment. According to the convention, the bio hazardous wastes should only be moved to other countries in instances where the source country lacks infrastructure and expertise to dispose the waste. It also empowers the regulatory bodies to enforce the related laws and ensure full compliance of the same.
Bio hazardous wastes are toxic and, therefore, are harmful to the environment and human health. In California, these wastes emanate from mortuaries, scientific research institutions, healthcare establishments, nursing homes, and animal research institutions. They fall in different classes including pathological wastes, liquid wastes, solid wastes, and sharps. With regard to management, the wastes undergo distinct procedures after generation. They are collected, packaged, transported to treatment sites, and disposed accordingly.
New technologies have been developed to aid in management of bio hazardous wastes. These include biological systems and electrical beam technologies. They are efficient, environmentally benign, and contribute to the ultimate goal of protecting the environment. Various laws and legislations relate to the management of bio hazardous wastes in this country. These are instrumental in overseeing operations of generators and transporters and ensuring that they meet the established standards. The legislations and laws also provide for enforcement procedures that ensure strict adherence to desirable standards.
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BIO HAZARDOUS WASTE MANAGEMENT 6
Running head: BIOHAZARDOUS WASTE MANAGEMENT 1