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The Consequences of Ineffective e-Waste Disposal for the Environment

March 14th, 2013 · No Comments

In this article we will tell you about the consequences of ineffective e-waste disposal for the environment. Here’s the details.

With every passing day technology is crossing a new boundary and science is going a step ahead; with every passing day our existing devices are growing older and no more appealing to us; with every passing day a new product is being launched and the older one is getting disposed off, most often improperly in landfills. Electronic equipment is posing a greater threat to the environment as automobile pollution and wastage of energy. The harmful toxins and metals from electronic devices are acting like slow poisoning leading to our doom.

You must have heard that, in the ecosystem, all organisms are related to each other. The process of destruction is reaching us humans as we are also part of the same ecosystem.

e waste disposal

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The following points will give you to estimate how near the sword is hanging on our head.

Impact on aquatic animals

It is most likely that these heavy metals that are part of the electronic products hit the water. They make mercurial compounds, and that is passed on to other water organisms. When fish consume these organisms they also store it in their body, which is ultimately, transferred to the human beings. Does it not raise alarm?

Impact on plants

The soil pollutants are polluting the soil first. Vegetable and fruits become contaminated with these pollutants, and when we eat it we also store them in our body. In a recent study done in Eastern China, it was seen that rice produced in and around e-waste processing areas had higher levels of cadmium and lead that was actually allowed by the government. Isn’t it alarming?


Impact on animals

Animals that are depending for food on the polluted soil are to get affected just as us. In the same place, in Eastern China, chicken meat was seen to have cadmium and lead! Do you need more information to verify the amount of damage done by the ineffective e-waste disposal?

Impact on humans

By this time, you must have understood how great a threat it is. These metals coming to us from food sources have subsequent effects on human beings-

  • Lead: Lead is the most toxic product of e-wastes. It has a residual effect in the body and gets deposited in the internal organs that cause cancer. It affects the central and peripheral nervous system causing motor neuropathy, affecting blood causing anemia, affecting genitourinary system causing damage to the nephrons, as well as affecting the reproductive organs causing sterility.
  • Mercury: Mercury is also a heavy metal that can cause tubular dysfunction and reach the fetus from the mother. When mercury reaches water, it accumulates in the organisms in the water especially fish, and when a human being consumes it the compound of mercury is passed on to us.
  • Cadmium: This is yet another slow poison that is reaching us. Toxic compounds of cadmium reach the kidneys and in the long run make it incapable of carrying on renal function properly.
  • PAH: Polycyclic Hydrocarbons have been shown to cause lung and skin cancers.

Not just the soil or the water, these pollutants are also carried by the air. It is intriguing to observe the results of a survey done in Nicaragua- rag pickers at e-waste processing sites were seen to have higher levels of these toxic metals. Cancer, illness of the nerves, anemia are their future. The matter does not end here the next generation is getting prone to birth defects because these toxins are destroying their DNA. This is only the picture in micro-scale of destruction, have you thought about the macro-scale, when all of it comes to us! Remember the threat is gradually growing in magnitude

Tags: Environment