Ban Open Waste Burning in Lebanon

Target: Nabih Berri, Speaker of the Parliament of the Lebanese Republic

Goal: Ban the open burning of waste in Lebanon.

Lebanon is facing a health crisis due to open waste burning. Open waste burning creates tremendous health hazards for all living creatures and ecosystems, and health issues that arise from consistent inhalation of noxious burning waste exacerbate over time. Furthermore, if the waste being burned is not classed and appropriately separated, it is likely that medical and industrial waste are included in the emissions, creating more health woes by releasing additional dangerous pollutants into the atmosphere. Fortunately, this type of suffering is avoidable with the implementation of legislation and rigorous waste management practices.

Individuals with existing respiratory conditions, children, and the elderly are especially at risk. Initial symptoms of exposure to open waste burning are headaches, eye and throat irritation, skin rashes, nausea, and a nagging cough. Over time, minor symptoms intensify and new medical conditions form such as chronic pulmonary disease, heart problems, cancers, nervous disorders, immune deficiencies, endocrine system malfunction, reproductive failure, and more.

Reportedly, people living in the big burn areas of Lebanon feel like they cannot breathe and have trouble sleeping at night due to respiratory distress. Those living in close proximity to the burning have increased exposure and are in greater danger from the heavier concentration of toxins in the air. However, the negative impact of open burning is spread far and wide as particulates travel as far as the wind permits.

There are a bevy of pollutants associated with open waste burning, such as dioxins, furans, arsenic, mercury, lead, PCBs, carbon monoxide, sulphur, hydrochloric acid, and nitrogen oxides. Most of the landfills that burn refuse regularly are located in Lebanon’s poorest communities. The detrimental effects grow exponentially for those who cannot afford proper health care.

Sadly, the needless suffering and demise of people in Lebanon is a horrific problem that could be prevented. New legislation must be enacted, and a robust waste management protocol for the entire country must be adhered to. Sign the petition to demand that Lebanon protect the health and well-being of its citizens by banning the widespread practice of open waste burning.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Speaker Berri,

The open waste burning that is practiced in Lebanon is unacceptable and must be banned to protect the country’s citizens, animals, and environment. This grave health threat is unnecessary and could be avoided with legislation to implement and enforce a strategic solid waste management program. Solid waste management rules and regulations must be integrated and applied nationally and not only enforced in wealthier regions.

It is imperative to classify and segregate waste material to identify recyclables for reuse and solid waste reduction.  All countries have the obligation of protecting and respecting the rights of citizens to a quality life. With less trash going to landfills and more waste tonnage being recycled, it becomes less expensive and easier to put people and the environment first.

The high number of toxic pollutants emitted into the atmosphere from the open burning of trash is shocking, and all are harmful to living creatures and worsen climate change. Effectual action needs to be widespread and rigorously enforced. Open waste incineration is a violation of environmental protection laws intended to prohibit detrimental pollutant emissions and odors, and Parliament must take swift action to ban open waste burning to restore the rights of citizens to health and happiness.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Aziz Taher, Reuters

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3 Comments

  1. Ban Open Waste Burning Globally!

  2. Robert Ortiz says:

    It’s very dangerous and unhealthy.

  3. GEN AGUSTSSON says:

    STOP BURNING EVERYTHING CAUSE ITS STUPID TO BURN STUFF. LONG AGO, THESE BOOKS WERE BURNED AND WE CAN THINK HARDER THAN THAT.

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