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Effect of post-consumer products and waste on human health and the environment, in Colombia

Author: 
Luis Carlos Villegas Méndez, María Eugenia Buitrago González, Sandra Santacoloma Londoño and Alexandra Naranjo Peñaranda
Subject Area: 
Life Sciences
Abstract: 

The objective of the study was to determine the effect of post consumption products and residues on human health and the environment, as defined by the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development of Colombia. We inquired about post-consumption residues known worldwide initially, contextualizing the inquiry at the national and regional level. The chemical, physical and / or biological composition of post-consumer waste was obtained from documental information collected on post-consumer waste described by MADS: pesticides, medicines, lead acid batteries, batteries and accumulators, tires, light bulbs and computers And / or peripherals. Except for exceptions (drugs), heavy metals are the substances with the greatest impact on human health and the environment; They are: Arsenic (As), Cadmium (Cd), Cobalt (Co), Chromium (Cr), Copper, Mercury (Hg), Nickel (Ni), Lead (Pb), Tin (Sn) and Zinc Zn). The affectations and diseases that waste and post-consumer products generate in the human being, and the detriment and pollution that these cause to the environment were communicated to the community through the realization of the "Seventh Integral Seminar on Environmental Engineering" held on 27 Of October of 2016 in the facilities of the UCEVA; Interactive workshops were also held with students of the Environmental Engineering program of the UCEVA; Is currently working in network with the Universidad Nacional in Production and Sustainable Consumption. Among the heavy metals, mercury, lead, cadmium, nickel and zinc are the most important in terms of health effects. Some intermediate elements such as arsenic and aluminum, which are very relevant from the toxicological point of view, are usually studied together with heavy metals.

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