Why is E-Waste So Harmful?

As technology advances, and we find ourselves purchasing new computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices, we may also find ourselves wondering what to do with the old devices. Especially for devices that are broken beyond repair or so old they are no longer usable, some pay be tempted to just toss them in the trash.

However, think twice before you toss an old cell phone or broken microwave. While throwing old electronics in the trash may be the quickest, easiest option, e-waste recycling should actually be at the top of your list. Recycling your electronics can help prevent some of the harms of disposing of them incorrectly. Here is why e-waste is so harmful:

Toxicity in Landfills

If someone tosses an old cell phone, computer, appliance, or some other electronic device in the trash, it will be sent to the landfill. In this case, the components of the device will eventually open and expose the heavy metals and toxic substances inside. One major reason e-waste is so harmful is the possibility of the toxic substances they contain being released as they sit in a landfill.

Just some of the toxic substances that may be present in electronics include lead, nickel, mercury, and more. Some states even prohibit smashing electronics in places like “rage rooms” because of the toxic chemicals that can be released. So keep this in mind before you toss an electronic device in the trash, and try to find an e-waste recycling organization to send your items to.

Contamination of Natural Resources

Another reason improperly disposing of e-waste is harmful is that If these devices are sent to a landfill or otherwise improperly handled or disposed of, these toxic chemicals and substances can leach into the soil. Once these chemicals have reached the soil, they can travel to nearby waterways, thus contaminating the local water. They can also contaminate the air.

This can be extremely hazardous for anyone nearby who is breathing the air, growing plants in the soil, and drinking the water or using it for cooking and bathing. High amounts of these substances can cause a variety of health problems, and this can be avoided by properly disposing of electronic devices through recycling.

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E-waste Transportation

Another way that e-waste can be harmful is the fact that it is sometimes shipped to developing countries, where it may be improperly handled or disposed of. In this case, workers handling the waste are exposed to the toxic chemicals, and people living nearby are also exposed if the waste is improperly dumped in a landfill.

Children in developing countries are especially at risk if they live or play near the sites where this waste is dumped. They may be exposed to the hazardous materials through a variety of different routes, and the amount they are exposed to can be extremely high.

Again, the major way to avoid all of these hazards is to properly dispose of your electronic devices through a reputable e-waste recycling organization or program. Check with your city or town to see if they offer any indian news electronic recycling program, or search for other programs in your area.