The Impact of Hazardous Waste on Health and How to Handle It!

Impact of HAZMAT Waste – There are many types of waste generated from production such as processed household, industrial, and waste generated from mining processes. Although these various wastes are indeed the result of human production to meet their needs, it should also be noted that more and more of these wastes will produce dangerous problems in the future for human life and the environment if not handled properly.

So it’s a good idea for us to carry out proper waste management so that any waste produced can be controlled and does not endanger human life and the surrounding natural environment where other living things live on earth.

One of the many types of waste is what is called HAZMAT waste (Hazardous and Toxic Materials). This type of waste is the most environmentally unfriendly and very dangerous for nature and human survival.

For this reason, in this discussion we have summarized various information regarding the impact of this HAZMAT waste so that we can get to know it better and care about the surrounding environment so as not to add to this type of HAZMAT waste.

Further information regarding the impact of HAZMAT waste can be seen below!

Definition of hazardous waste

Leftover materials arising from activities and production processes, as well as in households, industries, mines, and others, are commonly called waste. Waste can be gas and dust, liquid or solid. Several of these different wastes are toxic or hazardous and are known as hazardous and toxic materials waste (HAZMAT waste).

Waste is classified as HAZMAT waste if it contains hazardous or toxic materials whose nature and concentration, either directly or indirectly, can damage or pollute the environment or endanger human health. Waste that includes HAZMAT waste, for example, hazardous and toxic raw materials, not recycled due to damage, packaging residue, spills, process residues and used marine oil which requires special treatment and handling. These materials are classified as HAZMAT waste if they have one or more of the following characteristics: explosive, flammable, reactive, toxic, infectious, corrosive, etc., which can be identified as HAZMAT waste in toxicological tests.

HAZMAT waste is a type of waste that causes serious damage to the environment and living things. HAZMAT itself stands for hazardous and toxic materials. There are many types of HAZMAT waste and their characteristics include flammable, explosive, toxic, harmful to the environment, etc. In Government Regulation Number 101 of 2014 concerning Management of Hazardous and Toxic Waste, Hazardous and Toxic Materials (HAZMAT ) are defined as substances, energy, and/or other objects which due to their nature, concentration, and/or amount, can directly or indirectly pollute and/or damage the environment and/or threaten the environment, health and survival of humans and other living things.

Characteristics of hazardous waste

HAZMAT waste has certain properties and characteristics. The characteristics of this HAZMAT waste differentiate HAZMAT waste from other wastes in general. We present the nature and characteristics of HAZMAT waste below.

1. Explosive (Easy to Explode)

Explosive nature means that waste can easily explode at normal temperature and pressure or during chemical and/or physical reactions so that gases are produced which quickly damage the surrounding environment.

2. Oxidation

HAZMAT waste is an oxidizing agent, meaning that the burning time for waste is the same or shorter than the standard composition in general.

3. Flammable

HAZMAT waste is also flammable, meaning that it can ignite if exposed to air, flame, water or other materials, even at normal temperature and pressure. This property is also divided into three, namely extremely flammable, highly flammable and flammable.

4. Toxic

HAZMAT waste is toxic because it can contain toxins that are harmful to humans and can cause illness or even death if it enters the body through the mouth, skin or respiratory system. This property is also divided into 3 (three) namely very very toxic (very toxic), very toxic (highly toxic) and toxic (moderately toxic).

5. Dangerous

HAZMAT waste is hazardous, meaning it can pose a certain health hazard to humans and other living things if inhaled or comes into contact with the mouth.

6. Corrosive

Hazardous waste is corrosive, namely in the form of materials that can irritate the skin and cause rust on SAE 1020 steel plates with a corrosion rate of more than 6.35 mm per year or a pH value of 2 HAZMAT or less: for acidic and equal to or greater than 12, 5 bases.

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7. Irritant properties

HAZMAT waste is an irritant, so this type of waste can cause inflammatory diseases, skin sensitization and respiratory irritation if it is continuously in direct contact with the skin or mucous membranes.

8. Not Environmentally Friendly

HAZMAT waste is also very unfriendly to the environment and has characteristics that damage the environment, because this type of HAZMAT material can damage the environment and ecosystems throughout nature, such as destroying the ozone layer and causing it to be very bad for the environment.

9. Carcinogenic

HAZMAT waste is carcinogenic, meaning that HAZMAT waste contains materials that can cause cancer cells in humans and living things.

10. Teratogenic

HAZMAT waste is also teratogenic, meaning that it contains materials that can affect the formation and growth of embryos in living organisms.

11. Mutagenic

Another characteristic of HAZMAT waste is that it is mutagenic, meaning that HAZMAT waste contains materials that can cause chromosomal changes or alter the genetics of living things.

Harmful Impact of Hazardous Waste

At present it is very easy for us to know how many activities produce HAZMAT waste. This is because the products used do not meet factory and environmental safety standards, namely they come from unused or expired chemical residues. The nature of HAZMAT waste is explosive and flammable, reactive, toxic, causes inflammation and causes rust (corrosive), etc.

Many products in our daily environment contain hazardous and toxic substances, such as air fresheners, clothing, bleach, bath products, detergents, pesticides, glue, hairspray, batteries, various electronic devices that are obsolete or no longer used, and others. .

These goods are dangerous because they contain heavy metals such as Al, Cr, Cd, Cu, Fe, Pb, Mn, Hg and Zn as well as other chemicals used in various industries such as paint, paper, mining, tin smelting and Accu etc.

Industries must comply with applicable regulations regarding the handling of HAZMAT waste, so that the waste produced is not disposed of by dumping it somewhere or on the ground, because it can damage the environment.

Industries that dispose of HAZMAT waste anywhere are subject to sanctions based on the Environmental Law. In addition, as an industry that pollutes the environment, they receive criticism and objections from various walks of life.

However, we, users of products that contain hazardous and toxic substances, can also damage the environment if we dispose of them carelessly.

The release of waste into the environment causes problems that are evenly distributed and spread over a large area of ​​land. Wind carries exhaust gases from one place to another. Liquid or solid waste discharged into rivers is carried far downstream from upstream, across territorial boundaries, and finally ends up in the sea or lake, as if the sea or lake had become a landfill. Hazardous waste originates, for example, from residential, industrial, agricultural, mining and recreational activities.

Industrial waste, whether in the form of gas, liquid or solid, generally belongs to the category or nature of HAZMAT waste. The most feared hazardous and toxic waste (B3) is waste from the chemical industry. Waste from the chemical industry usually contains various heavy metal elements that are cumulative and toxic so that they are harmful to human health. The most dangerous agricultural wastes are pesticides and fertilizers.

Hazardous industrial waste that enters the environment ultimately affects human health. Exposure can be direct from the source to humans, such as through contaminated drinking water, or through the food chain, such as eating fish that have increased contamination from eating contaminated prey (biological amplification). The following are examples of the adverse effects of HAZMAT waste on the environment and health:

1. Soil and Water Pollution

HAZMAT waste that is simply dumped into the environment without special treatment can cause soil or water pollution. The toxic or dangerous substances contained therein threaten the sustainability of soil or water organisms. For example, batteries containing harmful metals disrupt the life of organisms in the vicinity if they are simply dumped on the ground.

2. Cause health problems n

HAZMAT waste does not only affect organisms (animals or plants), but also humans. If people consume ground water contaminated with HAZMAT waste, their health can be disrupted. HAZMAT waste can cause serious disturbances to the function of the nerves and organs of the human body. HAZMAT waste can also be inhaled directly as airborne particles. For example, TL lamps emit toxic mercury particles when broken.

Procedure for handling hazardous waste

Because we are not aware of the dangers of HAZMAT waste, we often ignore this waste product. It should be remembered that HAZMAT waste is very dangerous for humans, animals, plants, soil or the environment, even though the amount/level is small.

Land where HAZMAT waste is stored without being treated can cause the productivity of plants in that location to decrease or the plants to die, it can even cause part of the land and all the plants in the land to die. This reduces the quality of soil contaminated with HAZMAT waste.

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The best way to prevent it is not to dump HAZMAT waste on land where there are plants and animals, including places inhabited by humans, because it will have a negative impact on all living things on earth.

Protecting the environment is not only about controlling pollution, but also about improving the quality of the environment for the better. This requires us to consciously protect the environment by controlling environmental pollution.

The bad consequences of land or land contaminated with HAZMAT waste are decreasing the quality of the soil, making it difficult to plant crops on the land, because it is difficult to plant crops in unsuitable soil conditions. Apart from soil, toxic substances mixed into the soil can also contaminate water and cause various diseases.

The serious impact of HAZMAT waste that is accidentally disposed of naturally raises the question “how to deal with it?”. Based on Article 5 PP No. 18 of 1999, management of HAZMAT waste is handled by a responsible agency in accordance with the applicable laws and regulations. Assuming these rules, HAZMAT waste producing companies can take the following actions:

1. Waste storage

The first option a company can take in dealing with HAZMAT waste is to store it. However, it is not stored anywhere, but in a place equipped with special equipment. This technology must ensure that the HAZMAT waste contained in it does not pollute the surrounding environment. Some of the facilities that must be accessible include buildings, silos, tanks, landfills and landfills.

2. Waste collection

Business units that cannot provide a special place to store HAZMAT waste and obtain official permits can use this option. HAZMAT waste is not disposed of, but collected in a storage area. The waste is then delivered by scavengers who have permits for HAZMAT waste management.

3. Recycle

If the company can recycle HAZMAT waste, for example to replace raw materials, this is also permissible. The process of recycling HAZMAT waste can also be a way of managing waste, if it is accompanied by official permission.

It would be even better if the company could also minimize the use of B3 products. With a lower level of use, the amount of HAZMAT waste produced is also reduced. This of course facilitates the work of handling HAZMAT waste, and also makes it easier for companies to store it before handing it over to the party.

The company’s task is to support the prevention of environmental pollution through appropriate storage systems. The place used for temporary storage of HAZMAT waste must meet the standards set by the competent authority.

Example of hazardous waste

There are various types of HAZMAT waste that we can find around the environment, for example, leftover water from detergents, smoke or harmful gases from motorized vehicles, spoiled food, textile dye solutions, room fresheners, pest sprays and many other products around us that dangerous if we throw it carelessly.

Therefore, we have presented information about various examples of HAZMAT waste (Hazardous and Toxic Materials) below!

Examples of hazardous waste from factories (industrial sector):

  • Chlorobenzene
  • Methylene chloride
  • toluene
  • Acetone
  • nitrobenzene
  • Sodium hydroxide
  • Sulfuric acid
  • Phosphoric acid
  • Used battery
  • Laboratory waste
  • Used catalyst
  • Active carbon waste
  • Production process residue
  • Incinerator ash
  • Tank bottom residue
  • Sludge
  • Nickel slag
  • Copper slag
  • White tin slag
  • WWTP sludge
  • Copper cyanide
  • Carbon disulfide
  • Barium cyanide
  • endrin
  • Fluorine gas
  • Expired product
  • The rest of the packaging
  • Chemical residue
  • Production waste
  • Picric acid
  • chlorine
  • Infusion fluids
  • Hospital waste
  • Used catalyst
  • Pesticide waste
  • Sodium hydroxide
  • Formic acid
  • CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons)

Examples of hazardous waste from household products:

  • Used air freshener
  • Laundry Detergent
  • clothes bleach
  • Glass cleaner
  • Floor cleaner
  • Bathroom cleaner
  • Insect exterminator
  • Glue
  • Hair spray
  • Oven cleaner
  • Wood polish
  • Used battery
  • Dye
  • Rotten fruit
  • Expired food


This is a brief discussion on the adverse effects of HAZMAT waste on public health and the environment. Not only discussing the definition of HAZMAT waste, but also discussing the characteristics of HAZMAT waste in full, its impact on the environment and health, as well as examples of HAZMAT waste.

Recognizing HAZMAT waste, especially with products that can be easily found around us, invites us to be more concerned and careful because we see the bad effects of HAZMAT waste so that we can continue to enjoy a safe and healthy environment in the future.

This is an overview of the bad effects of HAZMAT waste and how to handle it properly. For Sinaumed’s who want to understand about HAZMAT waste and other knowledge related to environmental health, you can visit to get related books.

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