The compounded impacts of the catastrophes that resulted from the Great East Japan Earthquake have emphasized the need to develop strategies to respond to multiple types and sources of contamination. In Japan, earthquake and tsunami-generated waste were found to have elevated levels of metals/metalloids (e.g., mercury, arsenic, and lead) with separation and sorting more difficult for tsunami-generated waste as opposed to earthquake-generated waste. Radiation contamination superimposed on these disaster wastes has made it particularly difficult to manage the ultimate disposal resulting in delays in waste management. Work is needed to develop policies a priori for handling wastes from combined catastrophes such as those recently observed in Japan.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Chemistry