Trash burning in some countries accounts for particularly high quantities of certain types of pollutants. In China, for example, the emissions are equivalent to 22 percent of reported emissions of larger particles (those up to 10 microns in diameter).
The global impact on greenhouse gas emissions appears to be less, though still significant, with burning trash producing an amount of carbon dioxide equal to an estimated 5 percent of reported human-related emissions. (By comparison, the Kyoto Protocol strove for a global 5 percent cut among industrialized countries in greenhouse gas emissions derived from fossil fuels.) In certain developing countries – such as Lesotho, Burundi, Mali, Somalia, and Sri Lanka – the trash burning produces more carbon dioxide than is tallied in official inventories. This discrepancy can be important in international negotiations over reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Wiedinmyer said the next step in her research will be to track the pollutants to determine where they are having the greatest impacts.
“This study was a first step to put some bounds on the magnitude of this issue,” she said. “The next step is to look at what happens when these pollutants are emitted into the atmosphere – where are they being transported and which populations are being most affected.”
Check the following link to read/download the Full Study – “Global Emissions of Trace Gases, Particulate Matter, and Hazardous Air Pollutants from Open Burning of Domestic Waste”:
The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) manages the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) under sponsorship by the National Science Foundation (NSF).