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Environmental watchdog urges LGUs to ban open burning of trash

MANILA, Feb. 28 — An environmental watchdog has urged local government units to enforce the ban against open burning of trash as it warned of its dangers to health and environment.

The EcoWaste Coalition, in a statement, reiterated that open burning violates the Clean Air Act and the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act.

"Despite the explicit prohibition by two of the nation's foremost environmental legislation, this 'silent killer' continues to haunt our communities in the cities and in the countryside. We therefore appeal to all LGUs to enforce the ban," Ecowaste Coalition's Zero Waste Campaigner Tin Vergara said.

The group is encouraging LGUs to support the ongoing Integrated Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) Project being implemented by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB), with support from the Global Environment Facility through the World Bank, that seeks to reduce dangerous emissions from the burning of trash.

Vergara cautioned that open burning of trash produces toxic chemical substances that can cause headaches, eye, throat and skin irritation, asthma, heart attack and cancer.

It also pollutes food sources as byproduct pollutants are deposited on leafy plants eaten by farm animals and fishes which contaminates the food chain.

Harmful chemicals dioxins and furans are released into the environment, accumulate in the food chain, particularly in the fatty tissue of animals and are passed to humans through the consumption of dairy products, eggs, meat and fish.

Also, open burning wastes resources that could have been repaired, re-used, recycled or composted.

Fallen leaves and yard trimmings, for instance, could be turned into compost to nourish depleted soils.

The EcoWaste Coalition is urging the public to practice recycling and waste segregation to avoid health damaging pollution and fires from the open burning of trash and contribute to resource conservation. (PNA)

SCS/ABP

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