Low-grade plastic affects health of workers: experts
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.