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Fact Sheet on the Disposal of Plastics

Dangerous Health Effects of Home Burning of Plastics and Waste

21.10.2004




Most people who burn their plastic domestic waste do not realize how harmful this practice is to their health and to the environment. Current research indicates that backyard-burning of waste is far more harmful to our health  than previously thought. It can increase  the risk of heart disease, aggravate  respiratory ailments such as asthma and emphysema, and cause rashes, nausea,  or headaches, damages in the nervous system, kidney or liver, in the reproductive and development system.  The burning of polystyrene polymers such as foam cups, meat trays, egg  containers, yogurt and deli containers releases styrene. Styrene gas can readily be absorbed through the skin and lungs.

Download the full Fact Sheet (pdf.)