Low-grade plas­tic af­fects health of work­ers: ex­perts

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - HT FOR NAVI MUMBAI - Sang­hami­tra Sen­gupta sang­hami­tra.sen­[email protected]­dus­tan­times.com

NAVI MUM­BAI: Most peo­ple fail to re­alise that not only does plas­tic af­fect the en­vi­ron­ment, but also those who liv­ing near land­fill sites or dump­ing grounds be­cause of the air pol­lu­tion it causes.

“Low- mi­cron bags are not even col­lected by rag pickers be­cause they do not have a re­sale value. Th­ese are in­stead burnt near res­i­den­tial ar­eas thus giv­ing rise to health is­sues,” said Suresh Patil, deputy mu­nic­i­pal com­mis­sioner, zone 2 of Navi Mum­bai Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion.

Di­rect han­dling of waste also af­fects the health of work­ers, as they of­ten con­tract in­fec­tions and chronic dis­eases.

“Rag pickers con­tract skin in­fec­tions while scav­eng­ing through waste. Dis­posal of waste re­quires spe­cial at­ten­tion since it can lead to ma­jor health haz­ards, such as Hep­ati­tis B and C, through wounds caused by dis­carded sy­ringes,” said Vrushali Mug­dam of Stree Mukti Sang­hatna, a non-gov­ern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tion that works with rag pickers.

Ex­perts as­serted that waste must be seg­re­gated into dry and wet waste and then be dis­posed prop­erly.

“It is es­sen­tial that at the house­hold- level, proper seg­re­ga­tion of waste is done. It should also be en­sured that all or­ganic mat­ter is kept aside for com­post­ing,” Mug­dam added.

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