Nuevo informe, elaborado por Engineering X, una colaboración internacional fundada por el Royal Academy of Engineering y Lloyd’s Register Foundation, que cuenta con  la colaboración de ISWA- International Solid Waste Association



» Open burning of solid waste is a global threat to human health and safety that requires urgent action

7 Jan 2021

A major global study of what happens to consumer goods and other engineered products at the end of their useful life has found widespread use of unsafe management and disposal practices and calls for urgent action to address the risks posed to human life and health.

The Engineering X Global Review on Safer End of Engineered Life warns that the biggest threat is from the open burning of solid waste which is damaging the health of “tens of millions” of people worldwide but a lack of data means that the true scale of the problem is unknown and more research is urgently needed.

Half a billion tonnes (24%) of all the municipal solid waste generated on earth is not collected, and a further 27% is mismanaged following collection. Much of this is disposed of by open burning. Uncontrolled burning of waste is particularly widespread in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) where collection and disposal systems are often poor or completely absent.

Waste is burned close to homes, within industrial or commercial premises, and in large uncontrolled dumpsites. The hazardous cocktail of emissions released into the atmosphere and onto land threatens the environment and the health of those who live and work nearby. The review found evidence of emissions from open burning that are classed as persistent organic pollutants, as well as those that are carcinogenic, mutagenic, cause immunological and developmental impairments, and may lead to reproductive abnormalities.


Thought to be the first study of its kind, the Global Review on Safer End of Engineered Life was commissioned by Engineering X, an international collaboration founded by the Royal Academy of Engineering and Lloyd’s Register Foundation. The research was carried out by a team from the University of Leeds in partnership with specialist organisations, including the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA). The researchers examined the challenges to occupational and public safety by identifying the ‘pathways’ that resulted in people becoming exposed to potential harm from plastic waste, medical waste, electronic waste, construction and demolition waste, and land disposal. »


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