The life span of electronic gadgets and appliances is not very long. Advancement of technology spurs gadget, tablet and smart phone owners to quickly discard their old electronic items and buy the latest models. This increases the amount of electronic waste created by us. If not recycled properly then electronic waste can cause serious damage to our ecosystem.
Electronic waste is added to landfill and pollutes soil, water and even air. Not recycling electronic items also leads to the wastage of resources like steel, copper, iron, coal and petroleum. Huge amount of natural resources are used in the production and distribution electronic products, and it is all wasted when we carelessly throw away electronic appliances. In the following, some effects of electronic waste on our environment have been discussed.
E-waste and global pollution
EPA has revealed that only 27% of e-waste created by us gets recycled every year. The developing countries like India are handling the e-waste of developed countries. Around 70% of the e-waste handled by India comes from developed countries around the world but soon the scenario will change.
India has become a big market for electronic commodities and luxuries and soon the amount of electronic waste it produces will increase. Research shows that around 85% electronic wastes are discarded at landfills increasing its volume and negative potential.
Harmful toxins from electronic waste can pollute the air near the landfill areas. Toxic elements from e-waste such as lead, mercury and cadmium can pollute the ground water and soil. Lead is known for damaging the kidney system, nervous system and stops brain development in kids.
Cadmium also damages the kidney and considered to be a carcinogen. Other toxic elements from e-waste like hexavalent chromium and brominated flame retardant can cause severe physical damage. A survey conducted in the US shows that around 70% of the toxic garbage comprises of electronic wastes.
What can be done about e-waste?
A surprising fact is that most of the items discarded as e-waste are not waste at all. They are completely or at least partially functioning gadgets and appliances that can be reused. Discarding electronic appliances in favor of new items can deprive people who do not have the capability of buying new electronic gadgets.
Consider donating electronic items instead of throwing them into the dumpster. Clean recycling is the safest ways of recovering the materials used for making electronic goods without letting the toxin substances pollute our environment.
Electronic waste can pollute soil, ground water and air if not recycled in a proper way. It can increase the amount of landfill and disrupt ecology. More e-waste recycling plants should be established in developed countries so that they can handle the procedure independently.