Wednesday, April 24, 2024
Environmental Management

Analysis of Some Hazardous and Toxic Substances

When broken down into their component parts, hazardous and toxic substances are composed of heavy metals and other harmful chemicals. Table 4.1 below lists some major components of these substances and where they are found in both the human and physical environment.

The Table also shows the respective functionality of the human system that is affected by the contaminants.

Table 4.1: Hazardous Substance, Sources and Effects

S/NHazardous SubstanceSourceEffect
1AsbestosOld insulationRespiratory
2RadonThe groundRespiratory
3CadmiumOld batteriesRespiratory, renal, nervous
Carbon monoxide
Car exhaust, unvented or faulty furnacesRespiratory, Reproductive, Cardiovascular, Nervous
6SootFurnaces, wood burning stovesRespiratory
7LeadOld paint, outdated plumbingRenal, reproductive, Immune
8MercuryThermostats, thermometers, FishRenal, immune, skin
9UraniumFood and water, proximity to nuclear testing sitesRenal
10Chlorinated hydrocarbon solventDegreasers, paint removers, dry cleaning solutionsRenal
11Carbon disulfideIndustrial productionCardiovascular
13Methylene chlorideAuto part cleaners, paint removersCardiovascular, hepatic
14Methyl mercuryFish, coal-burning powerReproductive
15ArsenicPressure treated woodNervous, skin
16CyanideRat poisonnervous
17PesticidesUnwashed fruits and vegetablesImmune
18Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)Industrial waste, fish from contaminated waterImmune, skin
19Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)Cigarette smoke, vehicle exhaust, asphalt roadsImmune
21ChromiumPaints, industrial productionSkin
22VOC (volatile organic compounds)Fumes from gasoline, paint, adhesives, building suppliesSkin
23Carbon tetrachlorideAdhesivesHepatic
24Vinyl chloridePipe sealerHepatic

Source: Adapted from the Booklet of Health Effects of Chemical Exposure

Analysis of Some Hazardous and Toxic Substances

Read Also : Hazardous Substance Treatment and Disposal

The understanding of the interrelationships among hazardous and toxic substances and soil, plant, water and aquatic life and human health is expected to inform a proper waste management method for the betterment of the complex web of life in the environment.


Benadine Nonye is an agricultural consultant and a writer with over 12 years of professional experience in the agriculture industry. - National Diploma in Agricultural Technology - Bachelor's Degree in Agricultural Science - Master's Degree in Science Education - PhD Student in Agricultural Economics and Environmental Policy... Visit My Websites On: 1. - Your Comprehensive Practical Agricultural Knowledge and Farmer’s Guide Website! 2. - For Effective Environmental Management through Proper Waste Management and Recycling Practices! Join Me On: Twitter: @benadinenonye - Instagram: benadinenonye - LinkedIn: benadinenonye - YouTube: Agric4Profits TV and WealthInWastes TV - Pinterest: BenadineNonye4u - Facebook: BenadineNonye

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