Chemicals and waste

The management of chemicals and waste is a crucial aspect of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a collection of 17 interlinked global goals designed to be a "blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all" by 2030. These goals were set up in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly and are intended to be achieved by the year 2030. They address global challenges, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace, and justice.

SDG 12, which focuses on Responsible Consumption and Production, is directly related to the management of chemicals and waste. This goal aims to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns, which includes the environmentally sound management of chemicals and waste. The mismanagement of these elements can have severe environmental and health impacts, thus undermining the objectives of SDG 12.

One of the critical links between chemical and waste management and the SDGs is to human health, as outlined in SDG 3, which aims to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. Improper handling and disposal of chemicals and waste can lead to pollution and contamination, which can have direct adverse effects on human health. This includes increased risks of diseases, long-term health conditions, and impacts on the well-being of communities, especially those living in close proximity to waste disposal sites or industrial areas.

The impact of waste management also extends to climate change, addressed in SDG 13. Excessive waste generation, particularly organic waste in landfills, contributes to the production of greenhouse gases like methane, a potent contributor to global warming. Additionally, the production and disposal of plastics, electronic waste, and other non-biodegradable materials contribute significantly to carbon emissions. Effective management and reduction of waste are essential to mitigate climate change impacts.

The preservation of life below water (SDG 14) and life on land (SDG 15) is also heavily influenced by how chemicals and waste are managed. Pollution from chemicals and waste can severely impact aquatic ecosystems, harming marine life and biodiversity. Similarly, terrestrial ecosystems and wildlife are at risk from land pollution and habitat destruction caused by improper waste disposal and chemical spills.

Furthermore, SDG 8, which focuses on promoting sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all, is impacted by the management of chemicals and waste. Workers in industries dealing with chemicals and waste are often exposed to hazardous conditions. Ensuring their safety and health is a key aspect of achieving this goal. Moreover, sustainable waste management can create new job opportunities and contribute to economic growth through recycling and waste-to-energy sectors.

The effective and environmentally sound management of chemicals and waste is not only essential for achieving SDG 12 but also intersects with several other SDGs. It is a fundamental component of sustainable development, impacting human health, climate change, biodiversity, and economic growth. Addressing these challenges requires a holistic approach, encompassing strict regulatory frameworks, technological innovation, public awareness, and international cooperation to ensure a sustainable future.


Current Opinion in Green and Sustainable Chemistry, Volume 31, October 2021

Enabling a circular economy for plastics in Europe and beyond is an ambitious goal. To reach a fully closed loop, numerous challenges and knowledge gaps need to be overcome. This review provides a list of more than 6000 chemicals reported to be found in plastics and an overview of the challenges and gaps in assessing their impacts on the environment and human health along the life cycle of plastic products. We further identified 1518 plastic-related chemicals of concern, which should be prioritized for substitution by safer alternatives.


The Journal of Climate Change and Health, Volume 4, 2021, 100070

The healthcare industry is the second leading contributor of waste in the United States. This study reports a waste audit to identify key waste generators in an outpatient practice and start immediately reducing waste and greenhouse gas emissions.
This chapter introduces the fields of green and sustainable chemistry and outlines how they can be applied to the stewardship of endocrine-disrupting chemicals. The goal of green and sustainable chemistry is to create chemical technologies with strong technical performance that are also safe for human health and the environment.
Comparison of meta-RR of non-Hodgkin lymphoma when using higher exposures to benzene versus all exposures. Meta-RR=meta-analysis relative risk.
Background: Non-Hodgkin lymphoma comprises a heterogeneous group of cancers with unresolved aetiology, although risk factors include environmental exposures to toxic chemicals. Although the ubiquitous pollutant benzene is an established leukemogen, its potential to cause non-Hodgkin lymphoma has been widely debated. We aimed to examine the potential link between benzene exposure and risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in humans by evaluating a wide array of cohort and case-control studies using electronic systematic review.
Research into coatings made from whey protein isolate and xanthan gum which could increase the shelf life of fruit and thus have potential to minimize post-harvest losses and food waste, supporting SDG2: Zero Hunger.
The main focus of this paper was to investigate the spatial variability of denitrification rates in sediments from several streams and ponds considering their locations and characteristics; to study the main controlling factors that regulate the denitrification process; and to draw some lessons and deduce recommendations about pond management to control the impact of NO3− in such agricultural environments.
This chapter advances SDG 6 by discussing recent advancement in the usage of nanocellulose as an adsorbent for water and wastewater treatment and by highlighting current challenges and limitations related to nanocellulose derived material applications at an industrial scale.
This chapter advances SDG 6 by presenting an overview of the development of polymeric adsorbents from different agrowastes along with used physical and methods with their success and shortcomings.

Current Opinion in Green and Sustainable Chemistry, Volume 30, August 2021

Since the launch of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015, the SDGs have been widely adopted by governments and corporations in an effort to improve their sustainability. There are 17 SDGs, comprising 169 targets, which are measurable against 247 unique indicators. Despite pervasive global pollution from (micro)plastics, there is only one indicator (14.1.1b) under Goal 14, specifically related to reducing impacts from (micro)plastics.


Contamination of Water, Health Risk Assessment and Treatment Strategies, 2021, Pages 99-107

Pesticides have the potential to contaminate groundwater resources and have become a serious concern worldwide. In this chapter, we have discussed the mechanism of pesticide pollution along with its trajectory from the land surface into aquifers. Additionally, the harmful effects of pesticides on human health and promising remedies for reducing pesticide pollution have also been discussed.