Sources of E Waste

On October 6, 2011, in E Waste Management, by Sushant

E-waste is a new burden of our technologically advanced societies. With the rapid advent of technology and the high rate at which older forms of technologies are being discarded for newer forms, what happens to the electronic appliances which you bought only a few months ago? They get discarded. Many of us may unthinkingly discard them in our waste paper bins, putting little thought on the fact that, since most of such appliances and electrical substances are not biodegradable, they may release toxic substances and contaminate the environment when they are disposed with other household wastes.

Hence has come into being a separate classification of wastes known as e-waste. E-waste consists of discarded electronic and electrical appliances which have reached the end of their tenure or life and no longer serve the purpose they were intended for.

Sources of E Waste E-waste sources can be numerous. Electronic appliances which are used personally and in households are the most common sources of e-waste. Such appliances are usually personal computers, DVD players, laptops, television sets, mobile phones, mp3 players and so on. Many people think that e-wastes are only comprised of IT products, but electrical and other household appliances also form e-waste when they are discarded. Such items consist of washing machines, vacuum cleaners, toasters, drying machines, refrigerators, irons, air conditioners, coffee machines and related items.

Lighting fixtures and appliances such as sodium lamps, fluorescent tubes, sewing machines, surveillance equipments, lawn mowers, coin slot machines and even electronic toy products such as train sets also form e-wastes. These items are broadly categorized as WEEE or Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipments.

The electronic scrap recycling methods are vital for such items since these appliances usually consist of toxic materials. Such materials, when improperly discarded, lead to environmental pollution. For instance, the cathode ray tubes which are common electrical appliances, consist of carcinogenic materials such as phosphor, barium, lead and other types of metals which are toxic and prove pollutant to the environment and ultimately for the health of humans.

If you look closely at the e-waste sources, the flame retardant chemicals which are present in cables, circuit boards, plastic casing are hazardous to health. While switches and flat screens contain mercury, semi conductors contain cadmium, cathode ray tubes in televisions contain lead, barium and even arsenic which are lethal and toxic for the environment.

Thus, the sources of e-waste are numerous and each source has its own form of toxicity which makes it necessary to be disposed of properly to protect the environment and health of human beings.

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