What Is a Hazardous Material?
A hazardous material is any substance that has the potential to cause harm to humans, animals, or the environment by itself or through interaction with other factors such as air, fire or other chemicals. Hazardous materials have properties that are:
Hazardous waste can be a liquid, solid or contained gas; the by-products of manufacturing processes or discarded unused materials which have the potential to be dangerous to the health of humans and the environment.
What Are Some Of The Concerns With Hazardous Materials?
Human exposure to hazardous materials can result in or contribute to a variety of health effects such as respiratory complications, burns, and organ failure.
The health effects of exposure to a hazardous material depend on the nature of the hazard posed by the material and other factors such as the method of exposure, concentration, and duration of exposure.
The appropriate disposal of hazardous materials is important to prevent harmful effects on human health and the environment (e.g. water, soil, and air).
What Is The Role Of Environmental Protection Department (EPD)?
The Environmental Protection Department has the responsibility for the regulation of hazardous materials which is accomplished by:
- Collecting information on the location of hazardous materials;
- Educating the public on the use and handling of hazardous materials;
- Regulating certain facilities using hazardous materials;
- Regulating and facilitating the disposal of hazardous waste;
- Advising on the best disposal methods for hazardous waste;
- Developing policies for hazardous materials management; and
- Setting standards for the collection transport, use, storage, and disposal of hazardous materials and wastes.
Persons can request advice for the disposal of hazardous waste by submitting a written request to the Director indicating the amount and type of chemical they wish to dispose of. Please see our contact page for more information.
Which Legislation and International Agreements Govern The Management Of Hazardous Materials?
The legislation used to manage hazardous materials in Barbados includes:
- The Radiation Protection Act CAP. 353A. An Act to give effect to Article 10 of the Radiation Protection Convention, 1960, Convention No. 115 of the International Labour Conference, relating to the protection of workers against ionizing radiations.
- The Miscellaneous Control (Importation and Exportation of Goods) (Prohibition) (Radioactive Material) Regulation, 2004. Persons are required to obtain permission from the EPD prior to the importation of radioactive materials.
- The Health Services (Nuisances) Regulations, 1969. These regulations control the use of materials that may be injurious or dangerous to health.
- The Health Services (Disposal of Offensive Matter) Regulations, 1969. These regulations restrict the disposal of offensive matter to approved disposal sites only.
- The Pesticides Control Act CAP. 395. This deals with the management of pesticides in Barbados.
Multilateral Environmental Agreements
The EPD is responsible for implementing the multilateral environmental agreements which are relevant for the management of hazardous materials in Barbados. These agreements include the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, the Chemical Weapons Convention, the Oil Spills Protocol of the Cartagena Convention and the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants.