The Pros And Cons Of Electronic Waste

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Imagine walking through a city, buildings tower above like giant, steel monsters. Now imagine walking through a village in a third-world country. Scrap metal and electronic waste from the world’s superpowers replace the buildings. These piles seep toxins into the ground water. Electronic waste, also known as e-waste, which is electronic goods that people no longer use or want (“E-waste” 1). Electronic waste includes cell phones, computers, televisions, and other kinds of electronics. On average, Americans buy a new cell phone about every two years and throw away the old ones (Acaroglu 1). In recent years, Electronic waste is becoming the fastest growing waste according to Global Partnership on Global Waste (Baher 1). The United States government…show more content…
The Basal Conventions is a bill that makes all electronic waste shipping illegal (Acaroglu 1). While many countries signed this bill, it was not mandatory for all countries to sign. Sixty-two countries have signed to ban the shipping of hazardous or electronic waste across seas; Canada, the United States, and Australia have not accepted the Basal Conventions (Shell 2). With electronics on the rise, countries are taking steps in the right direction to dispose of them correctly rather than shipping them across seas. The third world countries, with little to no pollution laws, get the detrimental impact of the growing electronic world. Nigeria is the main receiver of the electronic waste (Ford 1). Many families and young children exposed to the toxins at the dumpsites and at home often struggle to find clean food and water due to the pollution. (Ford 3). The amount of toxic elements that are in electronic devices is very high. A majority of these devices such as cell phones, televisions, and circuit boards can contain up to half of the elements on the periodic table (Shell 3).Electronic…show more content…
Landfills are often the final resting place for electronics. They are unwanted and thrown into the trashcan. Little is known about the detrimental impact that a simple cell phone can have on the environment. Ground water and surrounding land around landfills are often contaminated with the toxins leaking out of the electronics (Ford 1). Companies that run and regulate landfills often try to prevent electronics from getting in. Some electronics contain toxins that have the potential to leach through landfill liners that are supposed to contain all of the toxins that leak out (“US Gov” 2). These toxins then are left to leach into the ground and pollute the water that some people drink. Printed Circuit boards, one of the most overlooked electronic components, contain some of the worst toxins and are left to leak into the environment (Jefferies 2). In third world countries where e-waste dumping is overwhelming, open burning is a popular method to extract some of the valuable minerals in the electronics (Bahar 3). This process allows some of the worst toxins to enter the air and are breathed in by people who are around the fire (Bahar 3). Some of the toxins released from burning have been found to be cancer causing (“E-waste Recycling” 1). These electronic device piles can look very interesting to young children. The children may play on these piles not knowing the

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