Proper Disposal Of Consumer Electronics Is Important When you think about consumer electronics, you may think of equipment you use every day; like televisions, mobile phones and personal computers. What you may not even consider is that each year, the United States alone generates almost 3 million tons of commodity and electronic waste (or e-waste) through the disposal of damaged, defective and obsolete devices, such as that cordless phone that quit working for you or those mobile phones you threw away because you wanted the latest models. Let's look at where that e-waste ends up after it's tossed away and the effects it has on you and the environment.
Because of the difficulty and cost of recycling electronics, as well as spotty enforcement of legislation regarding e-waste exports, vast amounts of used electronics have been sent to countries such as China, Kenya and India. Lower environmental standards and working conditions make processing e-waste more profitable yet dangerously hazardous in those countries. Being mindful of e-waste disposal is a big concern. There are facilities out there that specifically deal with this hazardous material correctly.
When electronics are handled and sorted properly, e-waste is a valuable source of secondary raw materials. However, they are a major contributor of toxins and carcinogens when clumsily treated.
Fast paced technology changes, low initial cost and actual planned obsolescence have given way to a growing problem around the globe. Uncontrolled burning, disassembly without safety measures in place, and haphazard disposal practices are causing environmental and health problems.
Toxic and carcinogenic substances in waste from consumer electronics include lead, cadmium, mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). When not handled properly, these substances can seep into soil where food is grown. They can be eaten or absorbed by animals in our food chain. Illegal burning of these electronics causes toxic fumes to be emitted, which are inhaled by animals and humans and depletes the ozone.
There are many ways in which these substance cause serious health risks. Lead, cadmium and mercury levels can build up in the body over time causing damage to the central nervous system, renal failure and cell damage. PCBs are known carcinogens.
Think about it the next time you indiscriminately throw away those cordless phone batteries or that camcorder that is older than your parents. Proper disposal through an e-waste recycler helps save our environment. With the potential for mercury, cadmium and lead leaching into the soil and contaminating the food chain, as well as PCB exposure causing cancer, http://www.rigid-flex-pcb.com/multilayer-pcb.htm some thoughtful consideration of use, reuse and disposal of consumer electronics is essential.