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Health Risks of Working as a Garbage Man

by Saloni Singh
3 Kings Hauling

According to a survey of the solid waste association, almost a 2.01billion tons of garbage is produced annually which is picked up by the garbage men. These calculations are enough to highlight the importance of a garbage man. It’s a common practice to see a lot of garbage trucks and trash collectors everywhere. The trend of hiring junk removal companies has also surfaced in recent years. You can now easily find such a company in your vicinity. Simply Google, junk removal Vallejo CA services and you find abundant options.

Still, many people opt for the old-age method of garbage man collecting their junk. We all are well familiar with the duties of a garbage man but most of us do not know the fact that being a trash picker is a life-threatening job, many of us take the job of a trash picker as the dirty one but when it comes to reality it’s the dangerous one. When someone starts trash picking in actual He is not starting a job but putting himself on a life-treating rod.

Data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2016 reveals that the death rate of trash pickers due to work injury is ranked at No. 5th in contrast to civilian occupations. If a garbage man got injured while collecting the trash the chances of death are ten times greater as compared to the workers of other industries.

A garbage man is not aware of the fact that this job is hazardous for his health. Here is a brief discussion about the health risks of being a garbage man 

Hazardous Materials 

Industrial waste, Domestic trash, and the garbage of factories comprise a large number of toxin materials and fluids like acids, contaminated syringes, bleaching agents, and different insecticides. These materials are hazardous to health and have a great extent to cause several respiratory damages, skin burning, rashes and causes severe injuries too.

The presence of waste from radioactive material is also reported even in domestic garbage which increases the risk of caught skin and eye infection.

Lift up and Plummet 

In case of dumping or fly-tipping the trash pickers often experience the lifting of heavy objects.

 As most of the garbage men are not aware of proper techniques of lifting heavy weights, lifting of such objects causes severe damages to the spinal cord and muscles which may lead to lifetime injuries and other physical abnormalities to a smaller and larger extent.

During picking up of large dumping objects they also meet falling incidents and get a large number of physical injuries from cracking to complete breakdown of bones.


Litter or garbage is considered the homage to disease-causing microbes, several insects, rats, and mice. Large birds and some Animals like Cats, Dogs, wolves, and Bears are dipping in large piles of trash in search of food. When the trash pickers come in contact with such organisms while doing the work it results in bites, scratches, and some death-causing diseases like rabies.

Dead bodies of rodents, mice, and squirrels are not only a source of foul-smelling but also cause Influenza, fever, and rabies symptoms. If these diseases are not treated timely with proper care and precautions may lead to the death of the victim.

Cancerous Materials

The waste collected from petroleum refineries comprises a huge amount of carcinogenic and highly toxic chemicals. The life of garbage pickers dealing with petroleum industries waste is considered to be on a ventilator. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, EPA of the United States The waste from the petroleum refineries occupied the place of primary pollutants.

Continuous exposure to such a toxic environment not only weakens the respiratory system of the garbage pickers but is also responsible for death-causing diseases like Asthma, throat infections, allergy, and cancer of lungs, urinary bladder, and skin. 

Life-Threatening Objects 

The presence of vicious items like broken containers of wine, glasses, electrical equipment in the trash is very common and exposure of trash pickers with such brutal objects and getting injured is a routine practice.

While handling these broken pieces the blades of glass and steel can cut the trash picker’s hands, face, or any other body parts and cause serious injuries which sometimes proved to be fatal.

Final Thoughts

This discussion indicates the difficulties and threats of being a garbage man. In most developed countries, the job of garbage is ranked seven among the highly-threatened jobs. Considering the service of a garbage man, they should not be dehumanized by us and regularly immunized against tetanus and hepatitis and facilitated with safe clothes by the authorities. Or an even better piece of advice is to hire junk removal services. You can rely on 3 Kings Hauling & more for this purpose.

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