E-waste can expose lead to contamination and infections.. Landfills
E-waste is a term that encompasses various forms of any electronic devices and electronic equipment that may be new or old, it might have reached the end life and most importantly cease to be of any value or worth to their owners. This has been known as one of the most fastest and longest growing waste streams till this day.The electrical and electronic devices are generally identified under three categories. One of them is known as the “White goods”, which comprises any household appliances like dishwashers, refrigerators, air conditioner and washing machine. The second is “Brown goods” which include cameras, television and camcorders. The third is known as “Gray goods”, which involves with, scanners, printers, computer and mobile devices such as phones. Other sources of waste are from lighting equipment and electronic and electrical contraption, robotic toys, medical devices, sports gear or equipment, and instruments. The wastes goes through bio-accumulation through the food-chain and the threats are more drastic from incorrect disposal and incorrect recycling techniques. Landfills are used for waste disposal, they prone to leak and start leaching of heavy metals and other toxins into the ground and soil which infect/contaminate not only the soil but also the water. Lead, mercury, and cadmium are among the most toxic lactates, lead from glass of TV’s and monitors can expose lead to contamination and infections.. Landfills are also prone to uncontrolled fires which can release toxic fumes. Disposal through incineration is also dangerous as the residual ash contains toxic metals. E-waste doesn’t create mountains like municipal waste, it’s very complex, non-biodegradable and toxic waste. Electrical and electronic devices or any appliances includes hundreds and thousands of different parts and hundreds of different substances that includes metal, plastics, glass as other parts that are organic or inorganic compounds. Compounds such as metals like lead, cadmium, mercury and chromium compounds found in these waste are very dangerous because they organic pollutants that pose health and environmental risks. E-waste is not only harming people, but it is causing many environmental problems and it’s killing many living organism.The recycling of E- waste is a very complicated process and it needs to be taken very seriously. E-waste recycling is the reprocessing of electronic and electric equipments of any kind. Some E-wastes include anything that belong in a house, such as a televisions, toaster cookers,fans, radios, microwaves, air conditioning and many others. There are other technology equipments like computers, mobile device, laptops, batteries, circuit boards and monitors. In the article “What is E-waste Recycling?” by Rinkesh its states that “Recycling of E-waste is a growing trend and was initiated to protect human and environmental health mainly due to the widespread environmental pollution impacts of E-waste.” Not every item that is in the trash goes to one facility where it is all recycled. Each item needs to be hand picked and taken apart out the trash and placed into the category it fits into. After sorting by hand, after is very important because you would need to take the machinery or the technology apart. The E-waste are then categorized into metals and the materials they contain. Then the items are then separated into different categories into parts that can be reused or still continue to be recycled. The next step is to separate the different non-metallic and metal components. The metals are sold as merchandise or re-used for fresh manufacturing. The last step for plastic materials is separated from glass by use of water. The products sold include any plastic, metals, shredded circuit boards, and other metal mixtures. All the plastic materials received get sent to recyclers and manufacture the items such as plastic sleepers, fence posts,, plastic trays, stakes vineyard, and any equipment holders among other plastic products. Glass is received from the Cathode Ray Tubes found in computer monitors and televisions. Extracting the glass for recycling from CRTs is a very difficult process. CRTs are made of various kinds dangerous materials. Lead is very dangerous and can harm human health and the environment. The larger the CRT monitors, the higher stages of lead toxins there is. The lead can weigh up to 4 kilogram. Other metals with t dangerous chemicals and toxins in them such as barium are contained in CRT tubes. Batteries are taken to specialized recyclers and they are hulled to take out plastic. The metals are combined is taken care differently to retrieve the nickel, steel and other metal, so they can be reused for new batteries. The steps and process of trying to dispose E-waste is very difficult and is very essential to keep them from spreading to other places and contaminating the environment.The waste that’s trying to be contained is causing many workers, people who are trying to help dispose and recycle it, are being affected by the toxins in the E-waste. E-waste has many toxic substances that are very dangerous at extreme high level if it’s not handled correctly. These are concerning issues and need a lot of attention of industrialists and analysts to lower the harmfulness of the E-waste. The machinery and other equipments are not provided or given to workers at their workplace. There are many concerns of employers stating that their analysts do not guide them in proper way to recycle the E-waste and complete the disposal processes. In the article “E-Waste Harms Human Health” by Jaymi Heimbuch state’s, “E-waste pollution in the air, that workers in these E-waste dumps breath in constantly, cause inflammation and stress that lead to heart disease, DNA damage and possibly even cancer.” Serious repercussions shows up due to close proximity to those areas where E-waste materials are recycled or burnt. A computer has very toxic chemicals like cadmium, beryllium, mercury, and Phosphorus compounds. Reproductive system, Central nervous system and the Urinary system are greatly affected by the lead absorption which is toxic to the human body.This shows that working in an environment where many people are exposed to these E-waste can get seriously infected by the fumes and toxins. Working around E-waste surroundings are mostly people from poor places. Those places are usually filled with children. There is no access to plastic gloves or head protection like helmets and often in need find work. Risk of their health are extremely high for them because they aren’t given enough information about the E-waste, such as how to clean it, and what toxins are in it. Workers at E-waste sites are prone to many kinds of illnesses. Such as allergies, itchiness of the skin, weak immune system, cancer, also other parts of organs like, kidney, liver, heart and can cause brain damage. Also in “Electronic Waste Disposal” by Vos Sophie states that “In China’s Guiyu region, workers have extremely high levels of toxic fire retardants in their bodies and over 80% of the children already have lead poisoning.” This shows that workers don’t get treated fairly when working with the waste. They don’t have the right equipment or protection to start working in the E-waste fields. The workers are exposed to these fumes and chemicals and they risk their own health. In the article “Harmful Effects” by the Green Citizen, it states “Electronic waste affects nearly every system in the human body”. Since they contain toxic components including Mercury, Lead, Lithium, Cadmium, Flame Retardants, Barium and Lead. The plastic case of electronics products contain chemicals. Health effects of these toxins on humans include many kinds of diseases. This will significantly affect the nervous and reproductive systems of the human body. Electronic waste currently makes up 2 to 5 percent of the United States waste stream. 40 percent of lead in landfills of the United State are normal computer which have four to nine pounds or more of lead. When a monitor or computer and other electronics are burned they create cancer particles in the air known as dioxins. When electronics are thrown into landfills, the toxins will go into groundwater, they spread and affect local resources.Many species are endangered due to the exposure to the E-waste in the soil and and the toxic fumes in the air. According to the ” How e Waste Affects the Environment”, it states “Statistics indicate 40 percent of the lead found in landfills comes from e Waste. Lead accumulates in the environment and harms humans and other living things, including plants and animals. Lead can also travel into water, causing potentially fatal effects for the fish that live in it and the animals that use the source of water to stay hydrated.” Humans have some control over minimizing the amount of the exposure to the toxins of lead in the environment by using water filtration systems. This helps to eliminate the lead and remodel the houses that have been contaminated with lead. Animals aren’t able to do those things and are at extreme high risk due to the terrifying effects of lead particularly lead from e Waste. We need and start to keep equipments that contain any lead toxins out of the landfills and get rid of them through proper channels and to care more for our water. Making a positive impact, like take good care of your own car or any vehicle so it is less likely to release any liquids that could contaminate the water supplies. Making sure not to get rid of products like paint and washing away oil down the sink. The E-waste is harming the homes and lives of not only humans but the animals as well. The animals aren’t able to survive in their own home and become infected with the toxins in the environment. Also once the animal is consumed by people, they can also be affected through the consumption of animals. Overall E-waste is affecting the public’s health and entire earth we live on. E-waste is adversely affecting our developing countries. Recycling electronic devices, is easier said than done. The E-waste starts to pile up on the landfills, which is causing harm to the environment in so many various ways. Toxins from the metals and glass in electronics are produced in the atmosphere, and when the E-waste disposal isn’t subsidizing, the pollutants from our electronic waste can end up in toys for our children that are sent back to us. Instead of exporting E-waste, or letting it rot in landfills, we can help our environment by returning our electrical products to stores and manufacturers, sending them to responsible recycling centers, selling them to people that will find them useful, or donating them to stores such as Goodwill donation center. We must properly dispose these items to help the workers recycle the materials. E-waste is infecting the animals and they are harming their health. We consume these animals and if one of them is exposed to these toxins, it can also affect our bodies as well. Workers are greatly exposed to these toxins because they don’t have the right materials or equipment to handle them. Lastly it’s very difficult to dispose the E-waste so we must use less electronic devices. We must start finding solution to these issues to make sure the E-waste doesn’t spread and get out of control.