Tue, May 30, 2017 | updated 02:50 PM IST

Roadside trash burning in India produces toxic rainbow

Updated: Oct 26, 2016 12:53 IST      
Roadside trash burning in India produces toxic rainbow

Washington.D.C [US], Oct. 26 (ANI): A recent environmental study conducted to examine the samples of smoke particles emanating from burning roadside trash piles in India, has shown, that the chemical composition and toxicity is dreadful for human health.

The wide variation found between sites by a Duke University study, however, does offer insights about how to mitigate the worst effects of the common practice.

Bergin, said, "From our tests, we found that somebody standing near one of these fires is getting a dose of toxins 1000 times greater than they would from the ambient air. To put it another way, a person would only need to breathe these particles for a minute to get an entire day's worth of hazardous particulate matter."

Of the nearly 2 billion tons of garbage produced worldwide each year, nearly half of it is burned for disposal, according to estimates.

While much of this total is burned in large collection and disposal sites away from heavily populated areas, many cities and towns do not have the infrastructure in place to collect waste -- especially in India.

"As you walk down the street in India, there are just piles of trash growing larger and larger until somebody decides to take a match to it," said Heidi Vreeland, lead author on the study.

Adding, "Even in large cities such as Bangalore, and even in the more affluent neighborhoods, this is just the norm."

For the study, the team took samples of emissions coming from 24 roadside garbage fires in urban Bangalore.

They then tested the collected particles for toxicity through both a chemical analysis and by applying them to cultured cells.

While the results showing that the high concentrations of particles near the fires resulted in 1,000 times more toxic exposures to nearby humans, one aspect of the experiment was eye-raising.

Thanks to various organic compounds burning in each fire, the test filters were turned different colors, making a rainbow of toxins.

"When you take samples of ambient air either here in the United States or in India, you just get different shades of grey," said Vreeland.

Adding, "But these smoldering fires turned our filters such different colors that one of my lab-mates actually thought I was looking at a panel of eye shadows."

The wide variability found in the fumes likely stems from the trash piles containing many different organic and plastic materials.

It's also a result of smoldering, incomplete combustion, which offers at least one insight into how the practice might be improved.

"Just making sure the fire is hot enough and there's enough material Available, could go a long way to reducing its toxicity," said Bergin.

With a greater understanding of what people are burning, he hopes to determine some best practices to keep the pollution down to a minimum.

In the meantime, they said the results are important from an educational standpoint as well.

Although the results may not surprise any researchers or environmentalists, calling attention to the fires' toxicity is important because nearby residents might not know the fumes are hazardous.

"When I was a kid growing up in Minneapolis, we used to collect our yard's leaves each year, spend a few days jumping into the piles, and then the whole neighborhood would just burn them," said Bergin.

Adding, "I was still very young when the city banned the practice because it's terrible for the lungs of everyone in the city, but at that time nobody thought twice about it."

"When I visited Nicaragua to help provide residents with alternate methods of cooking other than live fires in their homes, nobody understood that the smoke was making them cough. Coughing was just part of everyone's normal life. They couldn't even really understand how not coughing could be an option," echoed Vreeland.

Published in Atmospheric Environment, the research was supported by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the National Science Foundation. (ANI)

Time to witness `Summertime Stories`

Updated: May 30, 2017 14:42 IST     

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], May 30 (ANI): Cover Story by Future Style Lab, a subsidiary of the Future Group, is proud to announce their Spring-Summer '17 collection for India, called Summertime Stories.

Full Story >>

Mobile usage affects sleep, mood and mental health of teens

Updated: May 30, 2017 11:47 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 30 (ANI): A study on child development reveals that the use of mobile phones among children and adolescents' impacts their sleep, mood and mental health.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], May 30 (ANI): Parents please take note! Researchers have suggested that children younger than six years of age should remain indoor while mowing and teenager should be taught safety tips before operating the machine as 13 children on an average receive emergency treatment daily.

Full Story >>

Mumbai [India]. May 30 (ANI): After raising the expectations with its very powerful trailer, Amish Tripathi's much awaited 'Sita - Warrior of Mithila,' the second book of Ramachandra series, is here!

Full Story >>

Rupa - a glittering example of woman empowerment

Updated: May 29, 2017 18:48 IST      By: Pradeep Kumar

Itanagar (Arunachal Pradesh) [India], May 29 (ANI): Jat pujyantey nari tat tisthanti devata (The divine are extremely happy where women are respected/worshiped) - goes the adage, symbolizing the age-old rich socio-cultural heritage of India.

Full Story >>

Why is rose a skincare hero?

Updated: May 29, 2017 18:05 IST     

London [UK], May 29 (ANI): Roses not just enhance the beauty of your garden but are also an essential ingredient to be a part of your skincare regime.

Full Story >>

Things to be discussed before you say 'I Do'

Updated: May 29, 2017 17:51 IST     

London [UK], May 29 (ANI): Getting married and spending your whole life with someone is one of the most important decisions that one needs to take in their life.

Full Story >>

Secret to raise your child to be billionaire

Updated: May 29, 2017 17:35 IST     

London [UK], May 29 (ANI): Being a parent, you have the most important role in your kid's life. Here are the things that you can do when raising your children that will set them up for success in later life.

Full Story >>

Suffering from insomnia? Ditch the pills and exercise

Updated: May 29, 2017 16:43 IST     

Atlanta [US], May 29 (ANI): If you suffer from insomnia, you'll know how frustrating it can be. A recent study now has the healthiest way to improve your sleep: exercise.

Full Story >>

Here's some good news for all beer lovers

Updated: May 29, 2017 14:45 IST     

New Delhi [India]. May 29 (ANI): Bira91?, the famous beer brand has announced the launch of two new beers - 'Bira 91 Light' and 'Bira 91 Strong'.

Full Story >>

New-born baby walks moments after birth in Brazil

Updated: May 29, 2017 13:12 IST     

London [UK], May 29 (ANI): Seeing a new born baby walk for the first time is one of the happiest moments for any parent, but one has to wait patiently to witness the first steps.

Full Story >>

Pippa Middleton, James Matthews on honeymoon

Updated: May 29, 2017 07:38 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 29 (ANI): Seems like the newly-wed Pippa Middleton and James Matthews are on the Garden of Edens.

Full Story >>

Men bargain better than women: Study

Updated: May 29, 2017 05:26 IST     

New Delhi [India], May 29 (ANI): Busting the age old myth, a survey says that better bargainers than women.

Full Story >>

Minneapolis art museum to remove gallows-like sculpture

Updated: May 29, 2017 02:52 IST     

New Delhi [India], May 29 (ANI): The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis will remove a gallows-like sculpture, following protests by Native Americans, who say it brings back painful memories of the mass hanging of 38 Dakota men in 1862.

Full Story >>

Want to make your mornings delicious? Head to 'Number 31' in Def Col

Updated: May 28, 2017 18:03 IST      By: Pallavi Aman Singh

New Delhi [India], May 28 (ANI): If the same aroma of eggs, bread and butter, and coffee is making you nauseous or the pain of cooking early in the morning is narrowing your breakfast down to milk and cereal every day, then look no further - the latest in healthy breakfast alternatives has come in the form of Defence Colony's Number 31.

Full Story >>

At what age do women have the best sex of their lives?

Updated: May 28, 2017 15:26 IST     

London [UK], May 28 (ANI): Are you one of those women who believe that your sex life peaks in your twenties?

Full Story >>

Listening to sad music in group can give you the blues

Updated: May 28, 2017 15:01 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 28 (ANI): You may want to avoid listening to sad music in a group and talking about sad things, as according to a recent study, it can make you depressed.

Full Story >>

Practice is all it takes to make your 4-month-old stand!

Updated: May 28, 2017 14:43 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 28 (ANI): Turns out, children as young as four months are capable of standing on their own.

Full Story >>

And you thought extreme sports are just for adrenaline rush!

Updated: May 28, 2017 14:17 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 28 (ANI): Jumping to your death? Turns out, extreme sportsmen and women are "not adrenaline junkies with a death wish."

Full Story >>

This season, get summer bold with these style trends

Updated: May 28, 2017 13:28 IST      By: Pallavi Aman Singh

New Delhi [India], May 28 (ANI): Summer is a time to shed layers and get comfy and so, fashionistas are looking to put a stylish foot forward while trying to stay cool.

Full Story >>