What is the Philippine law that prohibits open burning?It is Section 48 of Republic Act No. 9003, otherwise known as Solid Waste Management Act, which particularly prohibits open burning or "pagsisiga" in the Philippines.
Open burning photo
What is open burning?Open burning is the burning of unwanted household materials or yard wastes where smoke and other emissions are released directly into the air. Smoke from open burning adds pollution to the air and contributes to health risks among humans.
Effects of open burning on human healthOpen burning can cause nausea, difficulty in breathing, non-fatal heart attacks, and increased incidence of asthma among humans. Likewise, air pollutants derived from open burning are also the culprits of medical afflictions such as: chest pain or irregular heartbeat; coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath; decreased lung function, or permanent damage to the lungs; and development of diseases such as chronic bronchitis. The worst possible scenario is the premature death in people with heart or lung diseases.
How does open burning become harmful to the environment and to the human health?Burning garbage releases toxic pollutants and contaminated particles directly in the air. The air contaminants released depend on the material being burned and the conditions of the fire.
For example, treated wood wastes may release arsenic, PVC plastics may release hydrogen chloride, wood painted with lead-based paints may release lead, etc. Those chemicals being released will spread in the air and harms the human health.
The ash from the waste may be contaminated with toxic chemicals such as dioxins and furans, PAH's, heavy metals, and other potentially cancer-causing substances and compounds. Some of the ash will be carried off into the atmosphere with the smoke plume, while the rest will remain behind after the fire has been extinguished.