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Activity Discussion Environment Give brief information about e-waste. What are the disadvantages of e-waste? Reply To: Give brief information about e-waste. What are the disadvantages of e-waste?


    May 12, 2021 at 7:53 pm
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    Electronic waste or e-waste is generated when a particular electronic device is of no use to humans. The electronic and electrical equipment which becomes unfit for its originally intended use or has crossed the expiry date is marked as e-waste.

    Computers, servers, mainframes, monitors, compact discs (CDs), printers, scanners, copiers, calculators, fax machines, battery cells, cellular phones, transceivers, TVs, iPods, medical apparatus, washing machines, refrigerators, and air conditioners are examples of e-waste (when unfit for use). E-waste typically consists of metals, plastics, cathode ray tubes (CRTs), printed circuit boards, cables, and so on. E-waste poses a huge risk to humans, animals, and the environment. The presence of heavy metals and highly toxic substances such as mercury, lead, beryllium, and cadmium pose a significant threat to the environment even in small quantities.

    International treaties such as Basel Convention aim at reducing and regulating the movement of hazardous waste between nations. Even with the Convention, illegal shipment and dumping of e-waste continue to take place. It is estimated that 50 million tonnes of e-waste were generated globally in 2018.

    Disadvantages of e-waste

    E-waste has vast and harmful consequences on nature and the natural habitat, that the earth provides with us.

    1) Harmful impacts on the soil

    Soils in the e-waste areas are often contaminated by heavy metals and organic compounds.

    Pollutants are generally present in mixtures, so pollution situations are complex and diversified with a gradient of contamination from agricultural soils to hot spots at e-waste sites and mainly in open burning areas. When these toxins leach into the soil, they influence the plants and trees that are growing from this soil.

    2)Harmful impacts on the water

    E-waste can also impact humans that rely on this water. Toxins like lead, barium, mercury, and lithium are also considered to be carcinogenic. They enter the water and slowly go into the groundwater. This directly inserts the toxins in our daily life needs, as water is an inseparable part of life.

    3) Harmful impacts on the air

    Burning unwanted parts like wires in order to extract copper, which can lead to air pollution as well. The burning of e-waste which is collected in a landfill releases hydrocarbons in the air, thus making a direct contribution to air pollution.

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