An analysis of the risk posed by leachate from dumpsites in developing countries

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Abstract

The disposal of municipal solid waste into primarily dumpsites in developing countries causes a number of potential public and environmental health risks. While there have been various studies that have evaluated the contaminants that cause the risks, these studies have generally not examined in a holistic way the manner in which these contaminants move. This study therefore sought to model the flow of a range of contaminants in dumpsites (As, Cd, Cu, Pb, Ni, Zn), and potential health risks as a means of enabling the more effective siting of facilities to reduce the risks posed. The study proposes a conservative model, using well consolidated equations and assumption, taking into account the path the pollutant makes to reach the water table and the point of exposure. The modelling may be useful to easily identify the boundaries of the area of risk related to the presence of a dumpsite in a Developing Country, beyond which a local community may use or build a safe well for drinking water. The results show as the area of risk is large and varies significantly with changes in input parameters, suggesting that without site-specific information it is better to follow conservative assumptions.

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Vaccari, M., Vinti, G., & Tudor, T. (2018). An analysis of the risk posed by leachate from dumpsites in developing countries. Environments - MDPI, 5(9), 1–17. https://doi.org/10.3390/environments5090099

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