Hazardous Electronic Waste Substances

On October 7, 2011, in E Waste Management, by Jitendra

E-waste is a new problem which most modern societies are facing today. Electronic wastes are accumulating rapidly given the evolving technologies and the high rate of obsolescence of older generation of technologies. Again, the developed countries are dumping obsolete technologies in developing countries. This is leading to e-wastes accumulating in developing countries who are not equipped to handle the proper disposal of such waste products.

Most of the e-waste that is generated is based on computer components. These can be reused to make new computer products while in some cases, the metals which are used in making such components are reused in different applications such as in jewelry, flatware, construction and other uses.

Hazardous Electronic Waste Substances In most of such electrical and electronic appliances the common toxic materials that are commonly found are epoxy resins, PVC, PCBs, plastics, lead, copper, beryllium, iron, aluminum, lead, copper amongst other metals. Again, mercury, cadmium, thallium are other elements which can be found in such appliances which are especially toxic to the environment and to public health.

Other forms of toxic elements in electrical and electronic equipments are antimony, arsenic, cobalt, geranium, gold, lithium, manganese, nickel, palladium, platinum, rhodium, selenium, silver, cobalt and others. Most electronic components consist of lead and tin in soldering and copper in the wires and circuit boards.

Mercury is one of the hazardous substances found in fluorescent tubes, flat screen monitors, switches and other appliances. Mercury can cause diseases such as memory loss, sensory impairment, muscle weakness in humans and in animals can lead to reduced fertility, slower growth and development and even death. Sulphur is another form of chemical often found in lead batteries. This can cause several harmful effects on health such as liver, brain, kidney damages and so forth.

Cadmium is another hazardous substance which when not properly recycled, can seep into the soil and harm microorganisms and disrupt the soil ecosystem. Waste sites where such substances are found and in proximity areas where related factories ae present can lead to severe lung damage and kidney damage. Lead is already known to be lethal on human health on various accounts including carcinogenic causes.

Thus, these are some of the hazardous substances which form the e-wastes. Proper disposal of waste substances and waste management is thus necessary for prevention of spreading toxicity in the environment and for the preservation of animal and human health.

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