“From Booming to Burning: Floridians Speak Up About the Health Effects of Increased Trash Incineration
Florida is often referred to as the sunshine state and for good reason - this state benefits from an enviable climate year round. But while the weather may be ideal, the environment in Florida is far less so. One of the most troubling issues in the state right now is the immense amount of trash burning that’s occurring across the state. Florida produces the second most amount of municipal solid waste in the country, behind only New York. This trash is typically trucked to local landfills, which can oftentimes be nearby residential areas. To reduce the amount of material that requires additional trucking and to contain the environmental damage, more local government agencies are turning to the tactic of burning trash as a way of disposal. The reactionary burning of the unhealthy waste materials is releasing toxins and particles into the air and is widely believed to be causing a range of health problems in the nearby residents. Air pollution from burned trash is very dangerous and can contain hazardous chemicals, carcinogens, and heavy metals, leading to long-term damage if not addressed. Studies on the human impact of burning trash is practically non-existent, and physicians across the state are now attempting to collect data on health indicators in the area. With increasing evidence of illnesses in the homes nearby, many residents are calling for an end to the burning of trash and are demanding that more stringent regulations be put in place to protect the health and safety of Floridians. At a time when environmental protection is rightly high on the agenda, it’s more important than ever that Florida’s politicians take action and prohibit the burning of trash. If we can save our state’s environment then we use our improved health and well-being to make Florida an even better place to live.