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Blessings of Technology – a Hazardous rise in E-Waste

January 28th, 2013 · No Comments

Due to the large amount of production of E waste, is a threat to human and environment. Today there is a hazardous rise in E waste.

Today E-Waste problem is a global concern. Due to the hazardous ways of its production and nature of its disposal, large amounts of E-Wastes end up as threat to humans and the environment. Right from its creation during the production of something new, E-Waste faces a chain of complicated events and eventually lies in the hands of the end user whose moral responsibility is to dispose it.

While Cell phones, Televisions, Fax machines, Computers, etc are the most harmless and essential electronic items in our lives today, they become toxic when there arises a need to throw them in the trash.


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Lead and mercury which are hazardous to mankind are components of the Television tubes, Plasma screens, LEDs, LCDs etc used daily in our homes. These and the other heavy metals found in the electronic components are thoroughly dangerous. Recycling and refurbishing can of course make these trashes into something valuable but a responsible and knowledgeable approach to do so is necessary. If not handled properly, they can become harmful to the environment and also humans. Hence, today the approach followed to combat the hazardous wastes is through the ‘All Green Electronics recycling’.

Although E-Waste is hazardous, it also contains some precious and valuable materials. In a bid to recapture these valuable components, more harm is being done by using cheap labor and unsafe methods to dismantle and make them reusable.

Complex electronic gadgets have many useful elements from the periodic table. A personal computer for example has along with some valuable elements, many toxic substances. Cadmium (Cd) found in monitor screens, computer batteries, Cathode Ray tubes etc in known to be highly toxic to mankind as it bio-accumulates in the environment. It is known to cause diverse effects in human kidneys and bones. No doubt, it is a shunned element by the European Restriction on hazardous substances.

Similar is the case with PVC. Poly Vinyl chloride cabling is extensively used in connectors, printed circuit boards, cables and plastic covers. PVC is known to cause harmful effects on the human immune system and reproductive system when it is land-filled or burnt. A lighting device component, namely Mercury can damage the human brain, kidneys, nervous system and can also pose a threat to infants through breast milk.

Lead is an inevitable component used extensively in the metal production. Lead is hazardous and its E-Waste needs a proper method of disposal. There are many other toxic substances in a wide range of electrical goods such as Beryllium; Poly chlorinated bi phenyls etc, along with miniscule amounts of special and precious metals.

A high tech method of recycling or processing their E-Waste is the need of the hour and not mere some backyard techniques. The recycling methods to be followed should not be a threat to humans. A more holistic, timely and specialized approach to process the rare elements from today’s E-Waste can help to minimize dangers to our world. Let’s take it as a global challenge! After all life is more precious than many other things! Isn’t it?

Tags: Environment