A global issue which are growing each day

What is E-waste and why does it matter?

“E-waste” is a broken, non-working or old/obsolete electric electronic appliance such as TV, PC, air conditioner, washing machine and refrigerator. “Household E-waste” means e-waste that comes from household, commercial, institutional.

E-waste is becoming a global issue because of tremendous growth of demands on electrical and electronic equipment and the disposal after use. Disposed E-waste sometimes cause health and environmental hazard if they are not handled properly.

Moreover, many of these e-appliances can be reused, refurbished, or recycled.

These are the three major reasons why we should properly handle and recycle household E-waste.

Impact of improper management of household e-waste.

Electronic waste is filled with a veritable of toxic materials. When this e-waste is not recycled and simply thrown out with the garbage, ultimately ending up in landfill, it means both human health and the environment are at risk. The following are reported effects from toxic materials founds in e-waste (below):

Lead has a well-documented history of negative health affects including brain damage, hence it’s removal from paints and petrol. The introduction of lead to the food chain and atmosphere (through lead combustion) are the primary causes of health problems in humans. Lead in the environment disrupts the natural functions of water and soil systems.

Mercury has a toxic affect on both human and environmental health. A small amount now exists in every household light-bulb (the new energy efficient CFLs), if these light-bulbs are crushed as part of the waste transfer process the elemental form of mercury is easily transferred into local environments. Once in landfill and combined with organics, anaerobic breakdown takes place leading to the production of highly toxic methyl-mercury.

Cadmium is cancer causing to humans. Within environmental systems it rapidly degrades soil health causing flow on effects to local ecosystems; it is also released to the atmosphere if burnt.

When e-waste is oxidized during smelting, bromine will be released. The released bromine may then recombine with un-oxidized carbon under certain conditions in smelter emissions in the form of Brominated dioxins and furans.

Inhalation of beryllium or beryllium-containing dust, mist or fume, may cause a chronic lung disorder called beryllicosis in susceptible persons, and beryllium is a probable human carcinogen.

Hazardous chemical additives (like phthalates) can leach when Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) components of electronic products are sent to landfill.

Arsenic is a known carcinogen in skin, lung,bladder, liver, and kidney, with evidence suggesting lung cancer. The highly affected arsenic on environment may include death, inhibition of growth, photosynthesis and reproduction, and behavioral effects of certain organism of flora/fauna.