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E-Waste Kills, New Study Reveals

June 21st, 2011 · 2 Comments

E waste kills new study reveals. A new study published in Environmental Research Letters details the exact nature of how e-waste can be extremely harmful to human health.

Girl in front of pile of e-waste in Guiyo, China
A girl in Guiyo, China stands in front of a pile of e-waste holding a trashed keyboard manufactured by Apple. © Greenpeace / Bruno Rebelle.

If you’ve been following this blog, you know that we’ve focused on the problem of e-waste in several posts in the past. We’re all aware of the dangers that improper disposal or recycling of e-waste poses — dangerous chemicals and substances from e-waste can leach into surrounding soil or contaminate water supplies and the air quality around dump sites.

Unfortunately, there are very few studies that have documented how harmful e-waste really is to human health. A new study published recently in the IOP Publishing’s journal Environmental Research Letters aims to shed light on this issue by detailing the exact nature of how e-waste can be extremely harmful to our health.

The research is particularly timely and significant because it was conducted in a developing country which analysts predict will become a major recipient of e-waste from developed countries like the U.S. in the next decade.

Researchers took air samples from areas in and around the city of Taizhou of Zhejiang province in China, a place where about 60,000 people manually dismantle over two million tons of e-waste every year. They then isolated the chemicals contained in those samples and studied how each of those affects human lungs.

What the researchers discovered was both heartbreaking and astounding. E-waste particles in the air that workers in the city breath directly cause “stress and inflammation leading to heart diseases, DNA damage, and cancer.”

For the full story, please proceed to Science Daily.

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