A geographic information system-based indicator of waste risk to investigate the health impact of landfills and uncontrolled dumping sites

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Uncontrolled and poor waste management practices are widespread. The global health impact of hazardous waste exposure is controversial, but the excess of some diseases appears to be consistent. The Geographic Information System (GIS, ESRI Inc., Italy) method used to estimate the waste risk exposure, in an area with many illegal waste dumps and burning sites, is described. A GIS geodatabase (ESRI ArcGIS format) of waste sites’ data was built. A municipal GIS-based indicator of waste risk (Municipal Risk Index: MRI) has been computed, based on type and quantity of waste, typology of waste disposal, known or potential environmental contamination by waste and population living near waste sites. 2767 waste sites were present in an area 426 km2 large. 38% of the population lived near one or more waste sites (100 m). Illegal/uncontrolled waste dumps, including waste burning areas, constituted about 90% of all sites. The 38 investigated municipalities were categorized into 4 classes of MRI. The GIS approach identified a widespread impact of waste sites and the municipalities likely to be most exposed. The highest score of the MRI included the municipalities with the most illegal hazardous waste dumps and burning sites. The GIS-geodatabase provided information to contrast and to prosecute illegal waste trafficking and mismanagements.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5789
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume17
Issue number16
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2 2020

Keywords

  • Dumping site
  • Exposure
  • GIS-approach
  • Hazardous waste
  • Landfills
  • Uncontrolled waste

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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