A boy walks past a pile of garbage in Beirut, Wednesday, July 22, 2015. (The Daily Star/Khalil Hassan)
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The trash buildup in Beirut and Mount Lebanon is unlikely to cause a serious public health crisis, but may create unhygienic conditions that indirectly contribute to the spread of disease, experts say.Both Nuwayhid and Jurdi said that vulnerable populations, including young people, the elderly and those with pre-existing health issues, will be most severely affected by the trash pile-up and consequent incinerations.Salim Adib, an epidemiologist and public health expert, said he was more concerned about the lasting effects of Lebanon's poor waste management strategies than any immediate health crisis. Those who live in areas surrounding the controversial Naameh landfill say they have been suffering serious health consequences from toxins dumped at the site, insisting that a number of residents stricken by cancer in recent years were victims of the dangerous waste.While the public may not have to fear an imminent health crisis, Lebanon's waste problem is not going away, Adib said.
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