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"Hazardous waste is waste that is not recyclable or that has properties that can harm health and the environment. Containers and that have contained the waste itself are also considered hazardous waste. The classification of these waste depends on the authorities and their regulations, although it is increasingly defined. A classification of these wastes would be very useful since in this way they could be properly marked and an effective treatment would be applied according to the type of waste without any risk. To define the properties that make them a waste is dangerous there is a common concept, such as being toxic, flammable or carcinogenic, for example.
Many of this type of waste is waste from hospitals, laboratories, industrial waste…. Industry is the largest producer of hazardous waste.
Among the most common hazardous wastes are the following:
Corrosive hazardous waste: it is waste that can corrode, its physical contact can cause burns or erosions. They are mainly acidic.
Hazardous waste due to chemical reactivity: they are unstable when there are variations in the environment. Its chemical reactivity can cause explosion or corrosion. They are extremely dangerous if they react with another substance such as oxygen. The best known are mercury or lead.
Flammable hazardous waste: they are heat-sensitive waste, for this reason they can burn creating fires. The best known in this group would be oil.
Hazardous explosive waste: if not treated properly, it can explode. For example, gunpowder.
Toxic hazardous waste: it is waste that can harm human health and the environment because it is toxic. They can be both organic (health center waste) and inorganic (arsenic or mercury).
Hazardous radioactive waste: they are dangerous due to the radiation they can emit, that is why their containment is very important. Examples are uranium and plutonium.
Each type of waste needs a different treatment, either for storage, containment or recycling. Each waste has its own management protocol and the necessary security measures will be different for each waste. The handling of this waste must be done by authorized professionals. The people who handle them must have adequate training to avoid that they are not managed irresponsibly since they know how to do it in mandatory safety conditions. It is necessary to manage this waste with the necessary material and tools, providing the person who handles it with adequate clothing or equipment so that the waste does not pose a threat to them. "