Trends in waste management in relation to increased recycling
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Danish Environmental Protection Agency, Copenhagen, Denmark
Corresponding author
Peter O. Jonsson
Jonsson, Danish Environmental Protection Agency, Strandgade 29, DK-1401 Copenhagen K, Denmark
Ann Agric Environ Med. 1997;4(1):3-6
New and environmentally sound goals may be reached in ways that increase the occupational risks in addition to the present health and safety problems among the employees who handle solid waste. Four major trends in Environmental Strategies have been selected for discussion: Increasing complexity of the logistics, increasing privatization, increasing cost, increasing internationalization. As regards environmental problems an international approach is both needed and possible. This situation is very different from the situation as regards health and safety standards, acceptance of occupational risks etc. Among other things, the difference is due to: a) national/cultural differences in accepted occupational exposure, b) microbiological dose/response changes as climatic conditions change, c) differences in the way to organize the work, d) different priorities between environment, health and safety, and economy (social/municipal/private). By way of example the following case is discussed: In Europe new environmental goals have been introduced through the regulation of packaging and packing waste. However, during negotiations of a directive embracing this topic little attention has been paid to the health and safety aspects. In conclusion, the health and safety aspects are not integrated for real in the current dynamic development in the field of waste handling. Among other things, this is due to the lack of data describing the exposures; lack of detailed knowledge of the dose/response of the exposures and consequently the lack of occupational exposure limits. Basically these problems are derived from a lack of international co-ordination and co-operation
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