Business Ethics MGT610
THE ETHICS OF POLLUTION CONTROL
Sometimes an everyday product choice can make a world of difference. Below are some new
studies that reveal how some cookware, raincoats, carpets, shoes and pesticides can expose the
people who manufacture them--and our families--to problematic chemicals. Check out our
Toxic Chemicals in Teflon
New information is coming to light about the toxic effects of a chemical used in making non-
stick coatings such as Teflon. The chemical goes by the name PFOA (short for
perfluorooctanoic acid), or C8, and is also used in the manufacture of food wrap and water- and
stain-resistant fabric coatings.
Studies presented at a March 2005 national toxicology meeting show that PFOA exposure
during pregnancy causes miscarriage and low birth weight in mice; many of the exposed
offspring went on to experience delayed puberty. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA), which conducted these studies, is evaluating the possible human health risks of PFOA.
Animal studies have shown that PFOA, in addition to harming development, is also linked to
hypothyroidism and cancer.
Water pollution is likewise a serious problem. About 40% of the world's surface water is too
polluted to fish or swim in. Pollution comes from agriculture, mines, oil wells, human wastes,
manufacturing, detergents, and the food industry, among other sources. Today, almost 1 billion
people lack access to safe water and the world's per capita supplies of water are shrinking.
The pollution of the land by toxic substances also causes increased mortality and illness.
Hazardous or toxic substances are those that can cause an increase in mortality rates or
irreversible or incapacitating illness, or those that have other seriously adverse health or
environmental effects. Over 58,000 different chemical compounds are currently being used in
the U.S., and the number is increasing each year. How many of these chemicals affect humans,
no one really knows. The sheer volume of solid waste is staggering: each U.S. resident
produces about seven pounds of garbage per day. Though this quantity is massive, it is not even
close to the quantity of industrial waste. The EPA estimates that about 15 million tons of toxic
waste is produced in the U.S. each year. This does not include nuclear wastes, which, because
they are so concentrated and persistent, present special problems for storage and disposal. Each
nuclear reactor produces 265 pounds of plutonium waste a year, a substance so toxic that only
twenty pounds would be sufficient to cause lung cancer in everyone on Earth. So far, no one
really knows how to dispose of this and similar wastes safely and securely.
As if pollution was not serious enough, we also must consider the depletion of species, habitats,
and natural resources. The world loses about 1% of its rain forests each year, and between 15%
and 20% of species had become extinct by 2000. Our consumption of fossil fuels has recently
been rising at exponential rates, but this cannot continue much longer because we are coming
close to the depletion point of fossil fuels. Minerals are also being depleted, so we can expect
them gradually to become more scare and expensive. This scarcity will have a serious impact
on the world economy.
Business Ethics MGT610
2.1. The following items are collected by this scheme:
a. Highly reactive chemicals.
b. Water reactive chemicals.
c. Waste that cannot pass the compatibility test (refer to Item 7.6 of Section A
"Procedures for disposal of general chemical waste").
d. Unwanted raw chemicals.
e. Expired chemicals.
2.2. The Lab pack service collects chemical wastes in liquid, solid and sludge forms.
2.3. The following items are NOT acceptable by Lab pack:
Shock sensitive materials.
Sealed metal articles or containers.
Any asbestos bearing material and articles contaminated with asbestos.
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