Types of Hazardous Waste: What is Contaminated Waste?
Hazardous waste can generally be classified into a number of unique categories. These include:
Examples of construction waste can be treated woods containing dangerous substances, materials such as insulation, coal tar products, metals such as mercury or sodium and unused cement. Substances present within these materials can include carcinogenic compounds such as asbestos. Handling or inhaling any dust can present very real health issues.
Recyclables that contain residues such as a volatile organic compounds (VOC) can likewise prove to be hazardous. Ingestion will pose health risks while the flammable nature of such materials is a very real danger if not disposed of properly.
Batteries that contain substances such as lead or mercury can have grave health and environmental risks if these metals are exposed or the units themselves leak. Lithium-ion variants can actually be explosive if they come in contact with moisture. Many other devices also contain materials that can pose personal risks. Examples can be used laptops, discarded televisions, cooling agents containing freon and printed circuit boards.
All vehicular oils and lubricants are considered hazardous; particularly if they are mixed together. Also, car batteries contain sulfuric acid which poses the threat of burns and even an explosion. Petrol is an obvious concern, air bags that were not deployed could explode and all contaminated components likewise are considered to pose a risk.
Medical waste is a final concern. Blood and other bodily fluids may transmit diseases., and discarded needles and other instruments can be contaminated with such substances. Hygiene waste products are also quite dangerous; there are always possible mutagenic, carcinogenic and reproductive concerns here. Laboratory chemicals and certain radioactive substances (such as those used in specific imaging machines) are very real threats to be taken seriously.