Sociology studies show the emergence and spread of charlatans and quacks in communities undergoing extensive and profound crises.

This phenomenon has been known in societies and communities in numerous countries in the East and the West during times of war and natural disasters, economic, financial and social collapses, political crises, poor governance and weak state institutions, during inflations and tight living conditions, as well as during times of increasing rates of unemployment, poverty and social degradation of large groups of people, and the widening polarization between the obscene richness and extreme poverty.

Lebanon is going through similar conditions; the suffocating crisis has hit all the aspects of political, economic and social life. Fortune tellers are present on every level: dominating platforms and the small screen, quacks and charlatans and healers use various methods to sell their lies.

Today, we witness a persisting crisis of accumulated wastes in the streets of the capital and various Lebanese towns and villages, the spread of illegal and uncontrolled dumps along the Lebanese territory and the extension of this disaster that has hit every household, family, children, infants, pregnant women, sick people and elderly. Moreover, so called knowledgeable analysts and experts of different shapes and colors exploit the small screen while the Government continues to expend its obscurantism and systematic ambiguity over the waste issue, in order to secure a way out for its doubtful transactions and theft of public money, even at the cost of a systematic environmental degradation and the increase of risks threatening the public health of successive generations.

Amid this chaos and collapse, and under the weight of this environmental disaster and the indifference of the officials, many quacks and charlatans roam the country in length and breadth, offering to municipalities – confused about how to deal with this issue thrown as a mass of fire in their faces by the government at the peak of this crisis – the worst options and ways to dispose of the waste. Recently, we have witnessed many promoters offering small incinerators to municipalities here and there. In many cases, these promoters are supported by political influential figures in power.

This is to warn and raise the voice so that all municipal officials at all levels can hear that the incineration of wastes, in principle, is a source of the conversion of these wastes into toxic gases and ultra-fine particulates and nanoparticles which are highly dangerous to the environment and the public health, where these toxic pollutants cause immediate and long term deadly chronic diseases, to this and future generations. The incineration of waste produces also residual ash, which is considered as hazardous waste, requiring further treatment and disposal in specifically designated sites. This ash is considered a highly dangerous pollutant for the environment.

These small incinerators, which are not equipped with any type of devices and hardware able to reduce emissions and limit the visible and invisible pollutants dispersed in the atmospheric air, pollute the surrounding and further distant areas and, hence, threaten the residents of these areas with the greatest dangers. These emissions contain high-risk ultra-fine particulates and nanoparticles that are hazardous to health. They also contain highly toxic chemical compounds, such as “dioxins”, “furans”, heavy metals and other toxic substances that cause cancer and birth defects, disturb the endocrine system, cause chronic diseases of the respiratory and cardio – vascular systems, the nervous system, the liver and the kidneys.

We warn the people from these impostors promoting small and medium incinerators to the municipal leaders in order to burn their wastes, claiming it is the best solution, while, in fact, it is the most dangerous and biggest source of pollution and is, therefore, a serious threat to the environment and public health. Some of them are offering primitive and semi-primitive pyrolysis facilities for the carbonization of wastes, claiming, falsely and deceivingly, that the conversion of wastes into coal used for energy production does not cause pollution and that nothing remains as residues.

This claim is false. In this context, we remind everyone of the Basic Law of chemistry and physics, the law of “Lavoisier”, that states: “Nothing is lost, nothing is created, and everything is transformed”. Hence, everything is transformed, the components of waste, when totally carbonized, will be transformed into coal and will emit dense gases: a mixture of gases and steam of a large number of substances, most of these gases pose serious threats to the environment and the public health.

Beware of falling into the nets of these quacks, even if they present themselves as “scientists”. Unfortunately, some of them ignore and abuse their academic position, and take advantage of the conditions of this crisis for “fishing in troubled waters”, as the Arabic proverb says, by promoting incinerators and coal making machines which are  catastrophic sources of visible, and in most cases, invisible pollution. This is what these charlatans are betting on today: to hurry to market their malicious merchandise, covered under the fogginess and cloudiness of the waste crisis, as well as the unclarity and ambiguity of the government’s plans to approach and resolve this crisis.

Publisher: Lebanese Company for Information & Studies

Editor in chief: Hassan Moukalled

Lebanon : Dr. Zaynab Moukalled Noureddine, Dr. Naji Kodeih
Syria : Joseph el Helou, Asaad el kheir, Mazen el Makdesi
Egypt : Ahmad Al Droubi
Managing Editor : Bassam Al-Kantar

Administrative Director : Rayan Moukalled

Address: Lebanon, Beirut, Badaro, Sami El Solh | Al Snoubra Bldg., B.P. 113/6517 | Telefax : +961-01392444 - 01392555-01381664 | email:

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