Chapter 3 - The Culture of Waste

Part 4 - Hazardous Waste Management

HAZMAT sign FlammableHazardous waste is waste that poses substantial or potential threats to public health or the environment. In exposure scenarios, the amount of hazard is a function of the toxicity of the chemical or group of chemicals, and exposure, which is a function of concentration and time, and often physiological exposure route. Toxicity is determined using laboratory models, animal models, clinical case studies, quantitative structure-activity relationships, and safety factors that protect sensitive populations like children, as well as the food chain, water supplies, occupationally exposed workers, and the general biosphere. The goal of hazardous waste management is a reduction in the toxicity, mobility, or volume of a hazardous substance.

The impact on the environment relates mainly to toxic contamination of soil, water and air. Hazardous waste is mostly generated by industrial activities and driven by specific patterns of production. Hazardous waste represents a major concern as it entails serious environmental risks if poorly managed. The impact on the environment relates mainly to toxic contamination of soil, water and air. The majority of hazardous waste is managed separately from municipal solid waste; however, waste from household products containing hazardous materials that enters the municipal solid waste stream is referred to as household hazardous waste.


  • hazardous waste generation
  • hazardous waste management
  • household hazardous waste
  • listed wastes
  • characteristic wastes
  • mixed wastes
  • universal wastes
  • Resource Conservation and Reocvery Act (RCRA)
  • Atomic Energy Act (AEA)
  • Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)
  • RCRA Subtitle C Wastes
  • flammable waste
  • corrosive waste
  • reactive waste
  • toxic waste
  • infectious/pathogenic waste
  • F List waste
  • K List waste
  • P List waste
  • U List waste
  • M List waste
  • low level mixed waste (LLMW)
  • low level radioactive waste (LLRW)
  • high level mixed waste (HLW)
  • mixed transuranic waste (MTRU)

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