Researchers have raised a red flag over indiscriminate and unregulated disposal of incinerated ash residues from the country’s hospitals.
Such waste, they noted, had high level of heavy metal concentration with harmful environmental effects on both human health and the ecological system.
This is contained in an annual research report of the Soil Research Institute (SRI) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), a copy was made available to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Kumasi.
The report warned that improper disposal this waste residue could leach heavy metals into both surface and groundwater, something, “which will affect water quality”.
“As most of these pollutants are persistent, probably lasting for centuries, they will sooner or later threaten the water table and aquifers where their removal would be near impossible and they are known to have high leachability”
It indicated that “allowing this to take place is an abdication of our responsibility to future generations”.
The report added that most of the metals analyzed were found to be above the permissible concentration limits for good soil quality.
It therefore urged the government to act quickly to ensure that ashes of incinerator and open-pit burnt waste were efficiently disposed of at special cells at landfill sites.
Guidelines for this should be developed, disseminated and enforced by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
This, the report said, should be made an urgent priority.
Mr. Adams Sadick and Mr. Richard Amfo-Otu, jointly conducted the study with the Presbyterian University College as the collaborating institution.