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TYRE BURNING – A THREAT TO ENVIRONMENT

By Stanslous Ngosa

TYRE-BURNING happens all over the globe, but is it a safe practice? Some of our eco-conscious readers discussed the many negative effects that stem from burning these rubber monsters and the environmental picture they paint isn’t a pretty one. 

Burning tyres can greatly affect the environment. It produces toxic chemicals that can remain suspended in the air and can even cause problems with our ozone layer. 

These chemicals can also leach into the soil and biomagnify plants, or into the water and biomagnify aquatic animals. 

This gets more dangerous if the plants and animals are eaten by humans as the concentration of these toxic chemicals increases, causing several health problems. 

According to Eco Green, burning tires releases carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is considered a greenhouse gas because, although it is not toxic, it traps heat near the surface of the earth and prevents it from escaping back out into space. 

Greenhouse gasses trap heat in the atmosphere and contribute to global warming. Burning tyres also emit particulate matter, which contributes to air pollution.

1. Burning tyres release toxic chemicals into the atmosphere. Benzene, xylene, ethylene, and acetone are among the most dangerous compounds released during the burning of tyres. 

These chemicals have been linked to cancer and birth defects. In addition, many people consider burning tyres wasteful and unnecessary.

2. Burning tyres creates hazardous solid waste. When tyres burn, they leave behind black rubber particles called charcoal. Charcoal is a porous material that absorbs harmful chemicals from the air. If left untreated, charcoal can become a significant environmental hazard.

3. Burning tyres emits greenhouse gasses. Carbon monoxide, methane, and nitrous oxide are three types of greenhouse gasses created during the burning of tyres; however, each type poses different hazards. 

Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless, tasteless, and highly poisonous gas. Methane is a flammable gas that contributes to global warming, while nitrous oxide is a potent ozone-depleting substance.

4. Burning tyres increases air pollution. Tyres are considered a major source of air pollution because of their heavy use throughout the world. 

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American burns about 30 pounds of tyres per year. This amount of tyre consumption creates a lot of pollutants that get into the air we breathe.

5. Burning tyres harms humans. People who live near tyre recycling facilities may experience respiratory problems due to the fumes emitted by the burning process. Children and pregnant women should avoid exposure to these fumes. 

Burning tyres is very dangerous for the environment. When you burn tyres, they produce thick black smoke that contains high levels of pollutants like cyanide, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, benzene, styrene, and 1,3-butadiene.

Carbon monoxide, for one, is dangerous when inhaled by animals and humans as it replaces the oxygen in their blood, causing damage to vital organs. Benzene is one of the responsible chemicals for creating smog.

Smog can contaminate waterways, which then can end up in the drinking water and may act as a cancer-causing agent. Cyanide is deadly for all living organisms. Hence, burning tyres has a big negative impact on the environment. 

Burning tyres can pollute the environment in several ways. One of the most severe is the air pollution given off as the tyres burn. Smoke can contain harmful heavy metals that linger in the air and can cause serious health problems. 

These particles can also be carried long distances from the fire and settle on the ground in other areas, causing issues. 

When it rains, the harmful particles can leach into the ground, as well as the groundwater, and they can be carried to new areas by runoff. The type of rubber that tyres are made from is also harmful to dispose of in landfills, making tires difficult to dispose of correctly. 

The emissions from burning tires are quite toxic. They contain high levels of a variety of unhealthy chemicals/substances, like carbon monoxide, sulfur oxides, volatile organic compounds, dioxins, benzenes, and a variety of metals. If a person is nearby burning tires without protection, they will likely suffer from anything from skin/eye irritation to chronic respiratory problems to a higher risk of cancer. 

Needless to say, when these emissions enter our atmosphere, they pollute the air, water, and land significantly. 

Burning tires can greatly affect the environment. It produces toxic chemicals that can remain suspended in the air and can even cause problems with our ozone layer. These chemicals can also leach into the soil and biomagnify plants, or into the water and biomagnify aquatic animals. We, therefore, urge all players to come to the table and address this problem. 

Have pleasant weekend!

(The Author is a Communication Expert specialized in Agriculture, Environment and Public Health Journalism) Comment: +260977694310 Email; ngosastan@gmail.com, stanslousngosa@yahoo.com, 

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