Potential Risk to Children living near landfills

Resident-location-in-proximity-to-proposed-landfieldThe map to the right shows the location of houses within a two-mile radius of the proposed landfill site. Each of the dots represent one or more students that attend area schools. the blue dot is daycare facilities, red dot Riverton students, yellow dot represents students that attend other districts besides Riverton USD #404, the red X is proposed landfill site.
Landfills of today are significantly larger than they were not long ago. When the landfill gets full it is capped and usually planted with grass, the end result looking like a large grassy hill, with small chimneys to release gasses. Even though a closed landfill doesn’t look particularly threatening, the evidence is that there’s more going on than meets the eye.

How Landfills Work
Trash is compacted into tight blocks called cells before it is deposited into the landfill. Then it is covered in multiple layers, including a thick covering of soil, at the end of each day. Once it reaches capacity, it is covered with a plastic material, then soil and grass.

Landfills Leak Toxins
Landfills produce significant amounts of methane gas, along with leachate, a toxic liquid that comes out of all that compressed trash. Leachate is full of organic and inorganic pollutants, including toulene, phenols, benzene, ammonia, dioxins, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), chlorinated pesticides, heavy metals and endocrine-disrupting chemicals.
Landfills have pipes designed to route and collect leachate to keep it from contaminating ground water (which can become your tap water). However, even the best collection systems and landfill liners inevitably deteriorate and leak, according to the EPA:
“No liner … can keep all liquids out of the ground for all time. Eventually liners will either degrade, tear, or crack and will allow liquids to migrate out of the unit. Some have argued that liners are devices that provide a perpetual seal against any migration from a waste management unit. EPA has concluded that the more reasonable assumption, based on what is known about the pressures placed on liners over time, is that any liner will begin to leak eventually.”
If and when a landfill does leak, toxins are allowed to escape directly into the environment, where they can contaminate air, water and soil.

Health Risks Linkded to Landfills
Studies have shown increased risks of certain types of cancer, including bladder, brain and leukemia, among people living near landfills. A study that was conducted at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine also found that babies born to mothers who live near landfills have greater risk of birth defects.
“There was a significantly overall increased risk of neural-tube defects, malformations of the cardiac septa (hole-in-the-heart), and malformations of the great arteries and veins in residents near the landfill sites in our study,” the researchers said.
One study found that living near a landfill could expose residents to chemicals that can reduce immune system functions and lead to an increased risk of infections.
Studies that have been conducted in by Dr. David O. Carpenter, director of the Institute for Health and Environment, at the State University of New York Albany, has stated that living near a waste site constitutes a risk of exposure to contaminants, presumable by air transport, and that these chemicals can reduce immune system function and lead to more infections.
In 2006, at the annual meeting of the European Respiratory Society, held in Germany, Carpenter stated, “Our major finding is that children living near to waste sites, whether landfills or contaminated bodies of water, are hospitalized more frequently with acute respiratory infections,” compared to children living in “clean” areas.”
Carpenter’s study also stated that the rates for hospitalization for asthma were also increased in children.
Carpenter said that the extent to which toxic landfill contaminants suppress the immune system has been underestimated.
According to the EPA In 2012, newspaper/mechanical papers recovery was about 70 percent (5.9 million tons), and about 58 percent of yard trimmings were recovered (Figure 3). Organic materials continue to be the largest component of MSW. Paper and paperboard account for 28 percent and yard trimmings and food waste account for another 28 percent. Plastics comprise about 13 percent; metals make up 9 percent; and rubber, leather, and textiles account for 8 percent. Wood follows at around 6 percent and glass at 5 percent. Other miscellaneous wastes make up approximately 3 percent of the MSW generated in 2011



  1. Ray Dean King says:

    I say no to the land filled let them put some were else

  2. robert mcginnis says:

    i say no to the landfill put in jordans back yard

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