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Hazardous waste and its proper disposal have become a major sociological problem today due to its capability of contaminating the area in which we live and its potential to be lethal to all living things In order for the United States and the rest of the world to save itself from a potentially life threatening problem they must fix the causes which lead to the improper disposal of hazardous wastes and like materials Some reasons that hazardous waste has become a problem in the United States today is due to the breakdown in enforcing laws for the proper disposal of such wastes a lack of initiative on big companies behalf to spend money on proper disposal and the ease of disposing of such wastes illegally The mistakes of the past need not be repeated for hazardous waste can be controlled using methods that prevent damage to human health and the environment These methods have been neglected in the past primarily because they cost more than indiscriminate or careless dumping and because no law required their useKiefer 1981 p51The problem of hazardous waste today actually stems from the growth of the United States industry after the Second World War However with the benefits unavoidably come hazardous wastesKiefer 1981 p9 Hazardous wastes are the byproducts of everyday industry ranging from heavy metals like lead mercury copper to more dangerous chemicals including cyanide acids and synthetic organic compounds The EPA has established four characteristics that may be used to determine whether or not a waste should be classified as hazardous Ignitability Corrosivity Ractivity and ToxicityBlock 1985 p44 All of these substances and many more are dangerous to wildlife and humans if they are not properly disposed In 1976 the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act was put into effect by the Environmental Protection Agency This act requires that hazardous waste be controlled from the time it is produced to its final disposal from cradle-to-graveKiefer 1981p11 However before RCRA went
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