The Electronic Waste or E-Waste
The Electronic Waste or E-Waste is the term used to describe old or discarded electronics and appliances, for example, Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) televisions and computer monitors, desktop computers, laptop computers, Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) monitors, cell phones, keyboards, computer mice, printers, and copiers.
E-Waste contains valuable components such as precious metals that can be recovered through the recycling process; however, E-Waste also contains a high proportion of heavy metals and persistent organic pollutants (POPs) that can be toxic to human health and the environment when they are released through in appropriate recycling processes.
About Electronic Waste or E-Waste
Electronic waste or e-waste is defined as discarded electrical or electronic devices. Used electronics which are destined for reuse, resale, salvage, recycling or disposal are also described as e-waste. Informal processing of electronic waste in developing countries may cause serious health and pollution problems, as these countries have limited regulatory oversight of e-waste processing.
Types of Electronic Waste or E-Waste
The US Is Dumping Hazardous Electronic Waste Into Asia
According to a recent investigation conducted by the Seattle-based e-waste watchdog group Basel Action Network , much of the hazardous electronic waste discarded in America is not being recycled properly – and by not recycled properly he means dumped in a junkyard in southeast Asia.
Harmful Effects Caused by Improper Computer
If the e waste is not disposed properly it could cause harm to human life. This article guides you some improper e waste disposal hazards. E-waste refers to thrown out electronic equipment like printers, Televisions, mobile phones, computers etc. which are harmful to our ecosystem if not disposed properly. Proper recycling and disposal of E-waste is important to safeguard our earth from Environmental pollution.
E-Waste Harms Human Health
In addition to its damaging effect on the environment and its illegal smuggling into developing countries, researchers have now linked e-waste to adverse effects on human health, such as inflammation and oxidative stress – precursors to cardiovascular disease, DNA damage and possibly cancer.
Where does Electronic Waste or E-Waste end up
Landfill – According to the US EPA, more than 4.6 million tonnes of e-waste ended up in US landfills in 2000. Toxic chemicals in electronics products can leach into the land over time or are released into the atmosphere, impacting nearby communities and the environment. In many European countries, regulations have been introduced to prevent electronic waste being dumped in landfills due to its hazardous content.
Incineration – This releases heavy metals such as lead, cadmium and mercury into the air and ashes. Mercury released into the atmosphere can bio accumulate in the food chain, particularly in fish – the major route of exposure for the general public. If the products contain PVC plastic, highly toxic dioxins and furans are also released. Brominated flame retardants generate brominated dioxins and furans when e-waste is burned.
Reuse – A good way to increase a product’s lifespan. Many old products are exported to developing countries. Although the benefits of reusing electronics in this way are clear, the practice is causing serious problems because the old products are dumped after a short period of use in areas that are unlikely to have hazardous waste facilities.
Recycle – Although recycling can be a good way to reuse the raw materials in a product, the hazardous chemicals in e-waste mean that electronics can harm workers in the recycling yards, as well as their neighbouring communities and environment.
Export – E-waste is routinely exported by developed countries to developing ones, often in violation of the international law. Inspections of 18 European seaports in 2005 found as much as 47 percent of waste destined for export, including e-waste, was illegal.
In the UK alone, at least 23,000 metric tonnes of undeclared or ‘grey’ market electronic waste was illegally shipped in 2003 to the Far East, India, Africa and China. In the US, it is estimated that 50-80 percent of the waste collected for recycling is being exported in this way. This practice is legal because the US has not ratified the Basel Convention.