The Health Concerns and Impacts of E-Waste!

With the growing number of electronics that are being invented and sold, the amount of E-Waste is growing at an alarming rate. Now you can learn more about what exactly E-Waste is and what it means for our health and the environment.

E-Waste is a general term that can be applied to any discarded or old piece of electronic appliance. For example, computer monitors, television, laptop computers, desktop computers, old cell phones, keyboards, liquid crystal display (LCD) monitors, printers and copiers can all be labeled as E-Waste. These old pieces of electronics contain persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and heavy metals that are known to be highly toxic to humans and the environment. The problem is when E-Waste is not properly disposed of and then it ends up in landfills, instead of going through the proper recycling process. E-Waste has toxic chemicals such as mercury, lead, cadmium, beryllium, chromium, antimony, brominated flame-retardants and more. Exposure to these chemicals over long periods of time can negatively affect kidneys, bones, the nervous system and the reproductive and endocrine systems. These chemicals can leak into the ground and drinking water supplies or contaminate the air we breathe.

Exposure to these toxins from E-Waste has various factors. Living near a landfill or recycling company that is not certified will enhance your chance of being exposed. The type of toxins you may be exposed also has different factors such as the type of E-Waste you are exposed to, the recycling process, the location of the recycling company or the quantity that is being recycled to name a few. More research guided by exposure assessments and the health effects of these toxins in E-Waste is needed for better prevention. In addition, better recycling technologies can be used to prevent exposure of toxins; all recycling companies should then appropriate these technologies. A restriction to the amount of hazardous chemicals that go into the manufacturing of these electronics will also prevent further problems that may arise. There are a large number of E-Waste health concerns, and it is important to be aware of them so they can be prevented before anything else.

 

Why e-Waste Recycling is Good for the Environment

As we move into increasingly technical ages, more and more people find that they have electronic items which need to be replaced. The old items, known as ‘e-waste’, are making their way into landfills in increasing numbers, causing significant damage to the environment.

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The processes involved in dismantling and then disposing of electronic waste items tends to make its way around to the third world, where cheap labor and poor working conditions keep costs as low as possible and enable unscrupulous firms to make as much profit as possible. Both liquid substances and the gases released into the atmosphere during these processes can cause significant damage, as they are absorbed into water sources, ground water, the soil and the air to affect human life, animal life and the success of crops needed for sustenance – and the availability of safe drinking water. A study of the impact of poor e-waste management in China led to shocking conclusions. A particular type of airborne dioxin associated with health problems was found in levels of 100 times more than previously, the carcinogens found in paddy fields and duck ponds was significantly higher than the given international standard for an agricultural area, and more than 300 times the level of heavy metals in the road dust was also reported.

From televisions, computer monitors, ATM machines, video cameras and numerous other devices, their cathode ray tubes are broken so that the yoke can be removed. Breaking these tubes releases lead and barium into the ground water and a toxic substance known as phosphor into the air. Circuit boards from all manner of electrical items have their solder removed to take off the computing chips, with the boards then bathed in acid to remove any traces of fine metal elements. The discharge from this into rivers and the air is staggeringly unhealthy. These are just two examples of what can happen when e-waste is not recycled properly. If you are seeking e-waste recycling services in LA, be sure to find a professional company who will do the job right.