E-waste:Dark side of Digital Age
Every day technology is been changing as well as helping the man kind to speed up their tasks.Often it’s very nice to see that our technology is been progressing as faster day by day and new devices results in uplift of our daily life.But as much respect given to these tech advance we like to have an look-up on the dark side of these Digital Age.Yes it’s these same tech advancements been creating danger to our simple life , it’s named by experts as “E-waste”.
Electronic waste, e-waste, e-scrap, or Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) describes loosely discarded, surplus, obsolete, or broken electrical or electronic devices.Estimates say about 45 – 50 million tones being generated annually In many instances, the only visible part of an electronic product is its outer shell. Unless that casing is broken, we rarely see the myriad circuit boards, wiring and electrical connections that make the device actually function.But it’s those inner mechanical organs that are so valuable and so toxic. A whole bouquet of heavy metals, semimetals and other chemical compounds lurk inside your seemingly innocent laptop or TV.
E-waste dangers stem from ingredients such as lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, copper, beryllium, barium, chromium, nickel, zinc, silver and gold. Many of these elements are used in circuit boards and comprise electrical parts such as computer chips, monitors and wiring. Also, many electrical products include various flame-retardant chemicals that might pose potential health risks.And that means toxic substances like lead, cadmium and mercury that are commonly used in these products can contaminate the land, water and air.
Some of that waste is recycled. For example, steel, aluminum and copper are often stripped from outdated machines and reused in newer models.But even recycled parts come at a price. An estimated 50 to 80 percent of e-waste collected in the United States for recycling is exported to areas such as China, India or Pakistan, where workers taking apart the old machines are handling toxic chemicals that can pose serious health problems.
When these elements are safely encased in our refrigerators and laptops, e-waste dangers aren’t much of an issue. Problems can occur when devices break — intentionally or accidentally. Then they can leak and contaminate their immediate environment, whether that’s in a landfill or on the streets within a region full of struggling laborers. Over time, the toxic chemicals of a landfill’s e-waste can seep into the ground (possibly entering the water supply) or escape into the atmosphere, affecting the health of nearby communities.Scientists who have examined those places of e-waste determined that because of the waste, the location has the highest levels of cancer-causing dioxins in the world. Pregnant women are six times more likely to suffer a miscarriage, and seven out of ten kids have too much lead in their blood.
So how can you do to help ease the burden of e-waste?
- First, check to see if your device’s manufacturer will take the product back. Take-back programs are slowly expanding, and many companies allow customers to return at least some computer models and equipment when they no longer want them. Apple, Dell, Hewlett Packard, Sony and Toshiba are some of the companies that take back some of your old electronic devices. You may be charged a small fee to return your computer and, as the saying goes, other rules and restrictions may apply. Some companies will take back any brand of electronics; others will accept their products only. From there, your e-waste may be completely recycled by the manufacturer or refurbished for future use.
- Another option is to recycle e-waste by taking your old electronics and electrical junk to a legitimate e-waste recycler who practices on-site recycling
Unless necessary steps are been taken by specific governing faculties experts believe that we have to face the real dark side of these digital age.Regulatory steps such as EWM India – 2011 is expected to raise the standards of participatory interaction amongst Stakeholders, Regulatory Authorities from various Countries, User Industries, Researchers, Technologists a nd Equipment Manufacturers .Several regulatory steps are been taken all over the world as in Indiana, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina, and Vermont adopted new e-waste polices to begin in 2011. In Indiana and New Jersey, the New Year saw the banning of dumping TVs and computers and encourages recycling and hope like these actions are been taken everywhere and lets face the good side of digital age.
Also click on below infography to know more about e-waste statistics from Good
Note:Collated news from various sites