E-waste or Electronic waste are electronic products that are useless and unwanted. This may include appliance and electronics such as computers, TV sets, stereos, printers, photocopiers, fax machines, refrigerators and even mobile phones. E-wastes are not totally useless; they can be recycled or refurbished like other wastes. However, there is no specific model for classifying what kind of electronic can be called e-waste. Some e-wastes are quite hazardous to the community because they may contain harmful materials (like lead, beryllium, brominated flame retardants or cadmium) that could contaminate the environment depending on how they are used.
HOW DOES E-WASTES AFFECT HUMANITY?
E-wastes come in various forms and also produce different kinds of toxins that contaminate different part of the earth including the soil, water and the air. Liquid and atmospheric emissions from e-wastes end up in small pools of water and contaminate the land and groundwater. This way, it finds itself in both the land and the sea, such that animals in both worlds consume the toxins and eventually pass them to humans causing various kinds of cancers and deadly diseases.
An instance of this is when an E-waste like Televisions, Computer monitors etc. that contain Cathode Ray tubes are processed and eventually dumped, heavy metals like lead and barium are emitted into the ground water and contaminates the ground water with toxic phosphor.
Gold plated chips when burnt or processed through hydrochloric acid discharges brominated flame retardants and heavy metals into water (streams and rivers). This emission acidifies fish and other aquatic elements that humans could come in contact with or even ingest. Brominated dioxins that are released into the air are also very toxic to human health if they happen to be inhaled in high volumes or continuously.
HOW CAN E-WASTES BE REDUCED?
Just as it has already been mentioned earlier in this article, e-wastes can be reduced, recycled and reused.
- Buy a very good electronic with smart performance and a very good maintenance. Bad appliances develop various faults within short periods and eventually stop working. Apart from the hazard it exposes the society to, it is also hazardous to your pocket.
- Instead of abandoning your gadgets and electronics, you could sell it to someone who will actively use and manage it. This will reduce the tendency of having abandoned e-wastes littering and contaminating the environment with hazardous content.
- You can also recycle your electronic when they can’t be repaired. There are various organizations that are specialized in recycling electronics. The internet is the best place to find the best recycler for your electronic.
E-wastes might actually be responsible for a lot of havoc wreaked on humanity and this will continue to rise every year as many studies have proved. Electronic wastes or any waste must be managed properly by both individuals and government for a better and healthier world.