Electronic waste- a burgeoning threat to mankind
In modern times, the fast-paced world is on a path to greater heights and revolutionary advancement. Over the years, technological revolutions have led us to an era where there are tech-savvy solutions for the simplest of problems. With every new technology in the market, the already existing one desist. In this hustle to find solutions for problems, we have forgotten about the environmental problems that are a consequence of our incessant need for technical progress. Electronic waste or e-waste includes discarded electrical devices such as computers, telephones, televisions, etc.
E-waste is a type of waste that comprises a mix of hazardous chemicals like cadmium, mercury, lead, polychlorinated biphenyls, besides glass and plastic. These substances leach into the soil from landfills and contaminate nearby water bodies. E-wastes, when burnt, also release poisonous gases into the air and if it’s not treated properly, it can cause serious health hazards. According to the National Centre for Biotechnology Information, these risks include silicosis, cuts from Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) glass, inhalation of mercury, tin, and lead compounds from circuit boards, acid contact with eyes and skin, and circulatory failure. India is facing strain not only due to its waste but also due to developed countries using India as a dumping ground for their e-waste. Even though high-income nations are the primary producers of this garbage, low-income countries are seeing an increase in e-waste as a result of the moving of both new and used electric and electronic equipment (UEEE), as well as low management overhead costs. As a result, they face the brunt of negative health consequences and ecological damage delaying their attainment of sustainable development goals.
For e-waste management, many technical solutions are available, but to be adopted in the management system, prerequisite conditions such as legislation, collection system, logistics, and manpower should be prepared.
Is there a solution?
- Re-evaluate: Is that extra device truly necessary? Try to find a single gadget that can do several tasks.
- Make your electronics last longer. Purchase a case for your smartphone, keep it clean, and don’t overcharge the battery.
- Purchase electronics that are good for the environment. Look for goods with the Energy Star certification.
- Donate old gadgets to charitable organizations that aid domestic abuse victims, children’s safety projects, environmental concerns, and more.