Hypothesis: Residents close to solid waste disposal sites
suffer from a higher level of gastro-intestinal disorders.
Rationale: Modern societies generate large quantities of
waste that have to be either dispersed, as with sewage
discharged into rivers, or sequestered as with solid
waste landfill sites. Inevitably some people have to stay
in the vicinity of sites where concentrations of wastes
build up, such as near solid waste disposal sites on the
outskirts of cities these people may be at health risks,
for instance, through some waste products leaching
into their water supply. Consequently, they may exhibit
greater incidence of health disorders.
Methodology: Select for comparison two localities: one
close to a city solid waste disposal site, and another one
of similar socio-economic status, but far away from any
solid waste disposal site. Select 25 households in each
locality of people who would be willing to maintain a record of health or sickness of their family members. Design a
diary for maintaining such a record in consultation with
faculty members of a Social and Preventive Medicine
department in a local medical college. Compare the
health records of people in the two localities with respect to incidence of gastro-intestinal diseases.
Follow up: Compare the drinking water supplied in the
two localities with respect to their microbial content. Do
similar studies on respiratory disorders in two localities, one downwind of an air polluting industry, and another
There is a large body of literature on the potential adverse health effects of different waste management options, particularly from landfill and incineration. There is little on potential problems resulting from environmental exposures from composting and very little on recycling. Although much research has focused on the health of the general population, particularly those living near a waste disposal site, occupational health...
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