Friday, July 30, 2010

Not all wastes can be recycled. They lead to autotoxicity.

Site of biggest oil spill in the Philippines, 2006. Guimaras Island is Paradise Lost

Oil spill!

If we can't prevent it, can we effectively recycle spilled oil? Not with hydrocarbon compounds; not in the case of oil spill.

The Petron oil spill in Guimaras in 2006 destroyed thousands of hectares of marine and terrestrial areas irreversibly upsetting ecosystems and depriving the residents of their livelihood.

Similar oil spills of major proportion also occurred this year in Bataan and San Fernando, La Union.

But the biggest oil spill ever in history, spilling some 100,000 barrels of oil a day since the incident early this year is still taking place in the Gulp of Mexico. Unless the submarine well is effectively capped by BP, the owner, a British based company, the whole length of the US southern coastline and the western coast of Mexico will become ecologically endangered.

Spilled oil is difficult to gather and to refine. Recovery is measly and very costly. The unrecovered oil continues to cause havoc to livelihood, wildlife, transportation, and coastline communities. The toll is heavy and damage is usually irreversible.

Not all wastes can be recycled.

1. Recyling is not recommended where pollution is heavy and unabated such as a mudflat.

2. Watch out for toxic materials

• Toxic metals: Cadmium, Mercury, Lead
• Hospital and medical wastes, including radioactive materials
• Pesticide residues, especially dioxin
• Industrial wastes, like acids, Freon, alkalies

3. Chemical pesticides are concentrated in food chains by biological magnification, which means that the toxic material can accumulate in the body of a predator. Frogs succumb slowly through cumulative poisoning from sprayed insects, Tuna accumulates from the toxic residues of its preys. Net accumulation of pesticide residues is the cause of many ailments in humans heretofore undetermined.

Wastes that cannot be recycled will certainly poison the earth. We call this autotoxicity, which means we humans are poisoning ourselves - and the whole biosphere for that matter. ~

1 comment:

Matutina Biglang-Awa said...

People should be more aware and mindful of the wastes they produce or cause. Everyone should know by now that not all wastes are recyclable. This is why we have the "biodegradable" and "non-biodegradable" categories for our wastes, when we practice waste management.

We must all be careful when it comes to toxic materials because there is no doubt that these can harm us.

- Paola Jenine Alvarez