PDF | E-waste contains both hazardous and non-hazardous substances in their components. Globally, the e-waste generation is estimated at 20 to 50 million. PDF | Electronic waste (e-waste) is one of the fastest-growing pollution problems worldwide given the presence if a variety of toxic substances. ISBN (web pdf). International Electrical and electronic waste (e-waste) is currently the largest growing waste stream. It is hazardous.
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electronic waste (e-waste) recycling and material recovery, while it is intended to provide background and sector/documents/publication/wcms_pdf. Regional E-waste Monitor: East and Southeast Asia,. United Nations University Access online: medical-site.info Introduction. ORG ISSN 8 International Journal of Advance Research, medical-site.info Volume 1, Issue 8,August , Online: ISSN ELECTRONIC WASTE .
Processors are most frequently out-dated by software no longer being optimized and are more likely to become "e-waste" while display units are most often replaced while working without repair attempts, due to changes in wealthy nation appetites for new display technology. This problem could potentially be solved with modular smartphones or Phonebloks. These types of phones are more durable and have the technology to change certain parts of the phone making them more environmentally friendly.
Being able to simply replace the part of the phone that is broken will reduce e-waste. In , the United Nations estimated the amount of worldwide electronic waste discarded each year to be 50 million metric tons.
And, despite having banned e-waste imports, China remains a major e-waste dumping ground for developed countries. Society today revolves around technology and by the constant need for the newest and most high-tech products we are contributing to a mass amount of e-waste.
Up to 60 elements can be found in complex electronics. Cell phone companies make cell phones that are not made to last so that the consumer will download new phones. Companies give these products such short lifespans because they know that the consumer will want a new product and will download it if they make it.
While there is agreement that the number of discarded electronic devices is increasing, there is considerable disagreement about the relative risk compared to automobile scrap, for example , and strong disagreement whether curtailing trade in used electronics will improve conditions, or make them worse. According to an article in Motherboard , attempts to restrict the trade have driven reputable companies out of the supply chain, with unintended consequences.
One theory is that increased regulation of electronic wastes and concern over the environmental harm in nature economies creates an economic disincentive to remove residues prior to export. Critics of trade in used electronics maintain that it is still too easy for brokers calling themselves recyclers to export unscreened electronic waste to developing countries, such as China,  India and parts of Africa, thus avoiding the expense of removing items like bad cathode ray tubes the processing of which is expensive and difficult.
The developing countries have become toxic dump yards of e-waste. Developing countries receiving foreign e-waste often go further to repair and recycle forsaken equipment. Defenders of the trade [ who? Recycling of copper, silver, gold, and other materials from discarded electronic devices is considered better for the environment than mining. They also state that repair and reuse of computers and televisions has become a "lost art" in wealthier nations and that refurbishing has traditionally been a path to development.
South Korea, Taiwan, and southern China all excelled in finding "retained value" in used goods, and in some cases have set up billion-dollar industries in refurbishing used ink cartridges, single-use cameras, and working CRTs.
Refurbishing has traditionally been a threat to established manufacturing, and simple protectionism explains some criticism of the trade.
Works like " The Waste Makers " by Vance Packard explain some of the criticism of exports of working product, for example, the ban on import of tested working Pentium 4 laptops to China, or the bans on export of used surplus working electronics by Japan.
Opponents of surplus electronics exports argue that lower environmental and labour standards, cheap labour, and the relatively high value of recovered raw materials lead to a transfer of pollution-generating activities, such as smelting of copper wire.
In China, Malaysia, India, Kenya, and various African countries, electronic waste is being sent to these countries for processing, sometimes illegally. Many surplus laptops are routed to developing nations as "dumping grounds for e-waste". Proponents of the trade say growth of internet access is a stronger correlation to trade than poverty. Haiti is poor and closer to the port of New York than southeast Asia, but far more electronic waste is exported from New York to Asia than to Haiti. Thousands of men, women, and children are employed in reuse, refurbishing, repair, and re-manufacturing, unsustainable industries in decline in developed countries.
Denying developing nations access to used electronics may deny them sustainable employment, affordable products, and internet access, or force them to deal with even less scrupulous suppliers. In a series of seven articles for The Atlantic, Shanghai-based reporter Adam Minter describes many of these computer repair and scrap separation activities as objectively sustainable.
Opponents of the trade argue that developing countries utilize methods that are more harmful and more wasteful. An expedient and prevalent method is simply to toss equipment onto an open fire, in order to melt plastics and to burn away non-valuable metals.
This releases carcinogens and neurotoxins into the air, contributing to an acrid, lingering smog. These noxious fumes include dioxins and furans.
Bonfire refuse can be disposed of quickly into drainage ditches or waterways feeding the ocean or local water supplies. In June , a container of electronic waste, destined from the Port of Oakland in the U. Guiyu in the Shantou region of China is a massive electronic waste processing community. Others work to strip insulation from all wiring in an attempt to salvage tiny amounts of copper wire. Six of the many villages in Guiyu specialize in circuit-board disassembly, seven in plastics and metals reprocessing, and two in wire and cable disassembly.
Greenpeace, an environmental group, sampled dust, soil, river sediment, and groundwater in Guiyu. They found very high levels of toxic heavy metals and organic contaminants in both places. Guiyu is only one example of digital dumps but similar places can be found across the world in Nigeria, Ghana, and India. Guiyu is likely one of the oldest and largest informal e-waste recycling sites in the world; however, there are many sites worldwide, including India, Ghana Agbogbloshie , Nigeria, and the Philippines.
Most research involving informal e-waste recycling has been done in Guiyu, but there are a handful of studies that describe exposure levels in e-waste workers, the community, and the environment. The processes of dismantling and disposing of electronic waste in developing countries led to a number of environmental impacts as illustrated in the graphic.
Liquid and atmospheric releases end up in bodies of water, groundwater, soil, and air and therefore in land and sea animals — both domesticated and wild, in crops eaten by both animals and human, and in drinking water.
One study of environmental effects in Guiyu, China found the following: A separate study at the Agbogbloshie e-waste dump, Ghana found a presence of lead levels as high as 18, ppm in the soil. E-waste presents a potential security threat to individuals and exporting countries.
Hard drives that are not properly erased before the computer is disposed of can be reopened, exposing sensitive information. Credit card numbers, private financial data, account information, and records of online transactions can be accessed by most willing individuals. Organized criminals in Ghana commonly search the drives for information to use in local scams. Recycling is an essential element of e-waste management. Properly carried out, it should greatly reduce the leakage of toxic materials into the environment and mitigate against the exhaustion of natural resources.
However, it does need to be encouraged by local authorities and through community education.
One of the major challenges is recycling the printed circuit boards from the electronic wastes. The circuit boards contain such precious metals as gold, silver, platinum, etc. One way e-waste is processed is by melting circuit boards, burning cable sheathing to recover copper wire and open- pit acid leaching for separating metals of value. Alternative methods such as cryogenic decomposition have been studied for printed circuit board recycling,  and some other methods are still under investigation.
Properly disposing of or reusing electronics can help prevent health problems, reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, and create jobs. The U. Environmental Protection Agency encourages electronic recyclers to become certified by demonstrating to an accredited, independent third party auditor that they meet specific standards to safely recycle and manage electronics.
This should work so as to ensure the highest environmental standards are being maintained.
Two certifications for electronic recyclers currently exist and are endorsed by the EPA. Customers are encouraged to choose certified electronics recyclers. Responsible electronics recycling reduces environmental and human health impacts, increases the use of reusable and refurbished equipment and reduces energy use while conserving limited resources. Certified companies ensure they are meeting strict environmental standards which maximize reuse and recycling, minimize exposure to human health or the environment, ensure safe management of materials and require destruction of all data used on electronics.
Once certified, the recycler is held to the particular standard by continual oversight by the independent accredited certifying body. A certification board accredits and oversees certifying bodies to ensure that they meet specific responsibilities and are competent to audit and provide certification.
Some U. This list only includes manufacturer and retailer programs that use the strictest standards and third-party certified recycling locations, to provide consumers assurance that their products will be recycled safely and responsibly.
CEA research has found that 58 percent of consumers know where to take their end-of-life electronics, and the electronics industry would very much like to see that level of awareness increase. Consumer electronics manufacturers and retailers sponsor or operate more than 5, recycling locations nationwide and have vowed to recycle one billion pounds annually by ,  a sharp increase from million pounds industry recycled in Participants of the Challenge are manufacturers of electronics and electronic retailers.
These companies collect end-of-life EOL electronics at various locations and send them to a certified, third-party recycler. The ETBC aims to place responsibility for disposal of technology products on electronic manufacturers and brand owners, primarily through community promotions and legal enforcement initiatives.
It provides recommendations for consumer recycling and a list of recyclers judged environmentally responsible. Many stakeholders agreed there needs to be a higher standard of accountability and efficiency to improve the systems of recycling everywhere, as well as the growing amount of waste being an opportunity more so than downfall since it gives us more chances to create an efficient system.
To make recycling competition more cost-effective, the producers agreed that there needs to be a higher drive for competition because it allows them to have a wider range of producer responsibility organizations to choose from for e-waste recycling. The Certified Electronics Recycler program  for electronic recyclers is a comprehensive, integrated management system standard that incorporates key operational and continual improvement elements for quality, environmental and health and safety performance.
The grassroots Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition promotes human health and addresses environmental justice problems resulting from toxins in technologies. Take Back My TV  is a project of The Electronics TakeBack Coalition and grades television manufacturers to find out which are responsible, in the coalition's view, and which are not. There have also been efforts to raise awareness of the potentially hazardous conditions of the dismantling of e-waste in American prisons.
The Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition, prisoner-rights activists, and environmental groups released a Toxic Sweatshops report that details how prison labor is being used to handle e-waste, resulting in health consequences among the workers. In many developed countries, electronic waste processing usually first involves dismantling the equipment into various parts metal frames, power supplies, circuit boards, plastics , often by hand, but increasingly by automated shredding equipment.
The disadvantage is that the labor is cheapest in countries with the lowest health and safety standards. In an alternative bulk system,  a hopper conveys material for shredding into an unsophisticated mechanical separator, with screening and granulating machines to separate constituent metal and plastic fractions, which are sold to smelters or plastics recyclers.
Such recycling machinery is enclosed and employs a dust collection system. Some of the emissions are caught by scrubbers and screens. Magnets, eddy currents , and Trommel screens are employed to separate glass, plastic, and ferrous and nonferrous metals, which can then be further separated at a smelter. Leaded glass from CRTs is reused in car batteries, ammunition, and lead wheel weights, or sold to foundries as a fluxing agent in processing raw lead ore.
Copper, gold, palladium, silver and tin are valuable metals sold to smelters for recycling. Hazardous smoke and gases are captured, contained and treated to mitigate environmental threat. These methods allow for safe reclamation of all valuable computer construction materials.
Hewlett-Packard product recycling solutions manager Renee St. Denis describes its process as: Once your disk drive is shredded into pieces about this big, it's hard to get the data off". Reuse is an alternative option to recycling because it extends the lifespan of a device. Devices still need eventual recycling, but by allowing others to download used electronics, recycling can be postponed and value gained from device use.
Recycling raw materials from end-of-life electronics is the most effective solution to the growing e-waste problem. Most electronic devices contain a variety of materials, including metals that can be recovered for future uses.
By dismantling and providing reuse possibilities, intact natural resources are conserved and air and water pollution caused by hazardous disposal is avoided. Additionally, recycling reduces the amount of greenhouse gas emissions caused by the manufacturing of new products. Materials that can be recycled include "ferrous iron-based and non-ferrous metals, glass, and various types of plastic.
Ferrous metals such as steel and iron can be also be re-used. Benefits of recycling are extended when responsible recycling methods are used.
In the U. Responsible recycling ensures best management practices of the electronics being recycled, worker health and safety, and consideration for the environment locally and abroad. Since many companies were responsible for the recycling of their own products, this imposed responsibility on manufacturers requiring many to redesign their infrastructure.
As a result, manufacturers in Japan have the added option to sell the recycled metals. One of the factors which exacerbate the e-waste problem is the diminishing lifetime of many electrical and electronic goods. There are two drivers in particular for this trend. On the one hand, consumer demand for low cost products mitigates against product quality and results in short product lifetimes.
Consumer dissatisfaction with this state of affairs has led to a growing repair movement. The " Right to Repair " is spearheaded in the US by farmers dissatisfied with non-availability of service information, specialised tools and spare parts for their high-tech farm machinery. But the movement extends far beyond farm machinery with, for example, the restricted repair options offered by Apple coming in for criticism. Manufacturers often counter with safety concerns resulting from unauthorised repairs and modifications.
Some computer components can be reused in assembling new computer products, while others are reduced to metals that can be reused in applications as varied as construction, flatware, and jewellery.
Substances found in large quantities include epoxy resins , fiberglass , PCBs , PVC polyvinyl chlorides , thermosetting plastics , lead, tin, copper, silicon, beryllium, carbon, iron, and aluminium.
Elements found in small amounts include cadmium , mercury , and thallium. Almost all electronics contain lead and tin as solder and copper as wire and printed circuit board tracks , though the use of lead-free solder is now spreading rapidly. The following are ordinary applications:. There is also evidence of cytotoxic and genotoxic effects of some chemicals, which have been shown to inhibit cell proliferation, cause cell membrane lesion, cause DNA single-strand breaks, and elevate Reactive Oxygen Species ROS levels.
Residents living around the e-waste recycling sites, even if they do not involve in e-waste recycling activities, can also face the environmental exposure due to the food, water, and environmental contamination caused by e-waste, because they can easily contact to e-waste contaminated air, water, soil, dust, and food sources.
In general, there are three main exposure pathways: Studies show that people living around e-waste recycling sites have a higher daily intake of heavy metals and a more serious body burden. Potential health risks include mental health, impaired cognitive function, and general physical health damage. Prenatal exposure to e-waste has found to have adverse effects on human body burden of pollutants of the neonates.
In Guiyu, one of the most famous e-waste recycling sites in China, it was found that increased cord blood lead concentration of neonates was associated with parents' participation in e-waste recycling processes, as well as how long the mothers spent living in Guiyu and in e-waste recycling factories or workshops during pregnancy.
Prenatal exposure to informal e-waste recycling can also lead to several adverse birth outcomes still birth, low birth weight, low Apgar scores, etc. Children are especially sensitive to e-waste exposure because of several reasons, such as their smaller size, higher metabolism rate, larger surface area in relation to their weight, and multiple exposure pathways for example, dermal, hand-to-mouth, and take-home exposure. Exposure to e-waste can cause serious health problems to children. Children's exposure to developmental neurotoxins containing in e-waste such as lead, mercury, cadmium, chromium and PBDEs can lead to a higher risk of lower IQ, impaired cognitive function, and other adverse effects.
OSHA has also specified some chemical components of electronics that can potentially do harm to e-recycling workers' health, such as lead, mercury, PCBs, asbestos, refractory ceramic fibers RCFs , and radioactive substances.
For the details of health consequences of these chemical hazards, see also Electronic waste Electronic waste substances.
Informal e-recycling industry refers to small e-waste recycling workshops with few if any automatic procedures and personal protective equipment PPE. On the other hand, formal e-recycling industry refers to regular e-recycling facilities sorting materials from e-waste with automatic machinery and manual labor, where pollution control and PPE are common.
The health impact of e-waste recycling workers working in informal industry and formal industry are expect to be different in the extent. However, Co , Ag , Cd , and Hg levels were significantly higher in the slum community workers compared to the facility workers. Even in formal e-recycling industry, workers can be exposed to excessive pollutants. Studies in the formal e-recycling facilities in France and Sweden found workers' overexposure compared to recommended occupational guidelines to lead, cadmium, mercury and some other metals, as well as BFRs, PCBs, dioxin and furans.
Workers in formal industry are also exposed to more brominated flame-retardants than reference groups. For occupational health and safety of e-waste recycling workers, both employers and workers should take actions. Suggestions for the e-waste facility employers and workers given by California Department of Public Health are illustrated in the graphic.
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May Learn how and when to remove this template message. Hoarding left , disassembling center and collecting right electronic waste in Bengaluru , India. See also: Global Waste Trade and Electronic waste by country. Main article: Electronic waste in China. This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. October Learn how and when to remove this template message.
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Norwalk, Connecticut: Technology Marketing Corporation. Archived from the original on 19 January December Archived PDF from the original on 18 May The exponential growth in production and consumption of electronic equipment has resulted in a surge of e-waste generation. Many electronic items contain hazardous substances including lead, mercury and cadmium.
Informal recycling or disposing of such items pose serious threat to human health and the environment. Strict enforcement of waste disposal laws are needed along with the implementation of health assessment studies to mitigate inappropriate management of end-of-life electronic wastes in developing countries. Keywords: e-waste, environmental impact, health effects, Indian scenario Introduction India has observed monumental progress in information and communication technology, leading to a tremendous increase in electronic equipment usage, especially of computers and mobile phones.
The expansion of production and consumption of electronic equipment has been exponential over the last two decades. E-waste management poses a great challenge due to growing quantities of waste. E-waste is one of the most complex waste streams due to a wide variety of products including assembled or highly integrated systems. In developing countries like India, e-waste units engage men, women and children for sorting and recovery of the materials without adopting protection and safeguards measures.
This not only leads to contamination of the environment, but also poses a serious health threat to people engaged in this occupation as well as to the people living in the proximity of e-waste management sites. Discussion Sources and Composition of E-waste in India Quantum of E-waste and Major Contributors Since the early s, with the opening up of Indian markets to multinational companies due to globalization, the information technology industry has been witnessing a surge in the substitution of domestically produced hardware by imports.