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|Title||Environmental and Health Risk Assessment of Rafah Landfill|
Rafah landfill is situated in the eastern part of Rafah with a distance of 400 m from the nearest residential area, approximately 5 km northeast of the former Gaza Airport and 800 meters from the occupied Palestine border wall. The landfill covers approximately an area of 33,000 m2. In addition to the disposal of the solid waste at Rafah landfill, it receives also a raw wastewater disposed into eight basins to the east of the landfill. The objectives of this research are directed towards the environmental and health risk assessment of Rafah landfill by reviewing the situation of the current landfilling process, identifying the risk factors associated with the current landfilling practice, assessing the environmental and health risks due to the transport of contaminants from landfill leachate and wastewater basins to the subsurface layers, assessing the health risks to the workers and residents (infants and adults) due to the gaseous emissions of the landfill and studying the impacts of the landfill gaseous emissions on the environment (global warming and ozone depletion) as well as on the surrounding residential communities. Green-Ampt model was utilized to calculate the infiltration rate of a conservative contaminant (NO3-) from the wastewater basins and the landfill leachate at Rafah landfill to the subsurface soil layers. Based on the results of the Green-Ampt model it is found that the arrival time is 41.22-42.28 years, this means that the groundwater aquifer will be contaminated after about 4 decades from the year of the construction of the landfill. Contaminant transport process was studied and breakthrough curves were developed, the contaminant was considered in this study is nitrate (NO3-). Based on the obtained results from the breakthrough curves it is found that the arrival time is between 33.9 – 34.52 years, this means that the groundwater aquifer will be contaminated after about 3.4 decades from the year of the construction of the landfill. As a verification of the models results, two water samples were taken from two sources, before and after the landfill (downstream and upstream) and analyzed at the laboratory the results shows that the negligible increase of nitrate concentration from the downstream to the upstream (44.8-48.4mg/l) and the decrease of the dissolved solids from the upstream to the downstream (9030mg/l – 8100 mg/l) is evidence that no contamination occurs to the groundwater at the site and this supports the results obtained by modeling Gas-Sim model was used to quantify the gaseous emissions from the landfill and the Land-Gem model was used to verify the results. Risk assessment of both carcinogens and non-carcinogens were performed. Two scenarios were conducted namely; with plant uptake and without plant uptake. The scenario with plant uptake revealed that the risk to residents is acceptable for non-carcinogens (risk value 0.45 < 1.0), while the risk to residents is not acceptable for carcinogens (risk value 2.69×10-6 > 10-6). The scenario without plant uptake revealed that the risk to residents is acceptable for non-carcinogens (risk value 0.42 < 1.0), while the risk to residents is acceptable for carcinogens (risk value 2.855 × 10-7 < 10-6). Workers of Rafah landfill are at risk more than the accepted limits for both carcinogens (risk value 1.75 × 10-6 > 10-6) and non-carcinogens (risk value 1.51 >1.0). The global warming potential analysis revealed that Rafah landfill will have a potential of 31638 tonnes of CO2 equivalent while the ozone depletion potential analysis revealed that the landfill will have a potential of 0.712 tonnes of CFCl3 equivalent in the year 2012. The study recommended that the existing landfill should be closed and capped as soon and possible and a new sanitary landfill site should be selected and designed as an engineering facility to minimize the adverse effects associated with solid waste disposal. The transport of contaminants other than nitrate should be investigated, monitoring wells should be installed to regularly analyze the quality of groundwater and to suggest the possible uses of such waters. Methane recovery should be considered as part of any integrated solid waste management plan. Waste reduction, reuse and recycling should be encouraged; segregation of recyclable materials should be performed before the waste being disposed at the landfill to minimize the exposure of recyclers to landfill emissions. Community participation should be encouraged through education and awareness campaigns as much as possible.
|Publisher||the islamic university|
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