UN warning on e-waste 'mountain'Tue, Nov 28, 2006
that is being generated and distributed overseas. Currently e-waste including old TVs, CPUs and phones are being shipped off to China, India and more recently, Africa. It’s estimated that up to 50 million tons of waste from discarded electronic goods is generated annually, and of that up to 75% of the shipments are defunct - in other words e-waste. The article states the amazing statistic that, “A recent study by the Basel Action Network concludes that a minimum of 100,000 computers a month are entering the Nigerian port of Lagos alone.” Some of the chemicals in computers called out in the article are lead, arsenic, antimony trioxide, polybrominated flame retardants, selenium, cadmium, chromium, cobalt and mercury; all nasty stuff. If dumped the chemicals can leech into the earth, contaminating land and water, or if burnt, which is the more common disposal method, they release toxic fumes and leach chemicals such as barium and mercury into the soil.
, but it’s up to us as consumers to be educated about this, and to use this knowledge on future computer purchases.