- "I am very much concerned about the graving deterioration of the environment we live in
- I personally feel that the major concerns of the today's time is:
1)Green House Effect
E WASTE :A DEVELOPING NATIONAL CONCERNS
Electronic waste or e-waste is one of the rapidly growing environmental problems of the world. In India, the electronic waste management assumes greater significance not only due to the generation of our own waste but also dumping ofe-waste particularly computer waste from the developed countries.
With extensively using computers and electronic equipments and people dumping old electronic goods for new ones, the amount ofE-Waste generated has been steadily increasing. At present Bangalore alone generates about 8000 tonnes of computer waste annually and in the absence of proper disposal, they find their way to scrap dealers.
. The country’s Capital is fast earning the dubious distinction of becoming the world’s e-waste dumping capital, thanks to a heady cross-pollination of lucrative business incentives and weak punitive measures
Electronic waste, popularly known as ‘e-waste’ can be defined as electronic equipments / products connects with power plug, batteries which have become obsolete due to:
advancement in technology
changes in fashion, style and status
nearing the end of their useful life.
E-waste encompasses ever growing range of obsolete electronic devices such as computers, servers, main frames, monitors, TVs & display devices, telecommunication devices such as cellular phones & pagers, calculators, audio and video devices, printers, scanners, copiers and fax machines besides refrigerators, air conditioners, washing machines, and microwave ovens, e-waste also covers recording devices such as DVDs, CDs, floppies, tapes, printing cartridges, military electronic waste, automobile catalytic converters, electronic components such as chips, processors, mother boards, printed circuit boards, industrial electronics such as sensors, alarms, sirens, security devices, automobile electronic devices.
Most Hazardous Wastes?
CRT monitors and TVs contain and average of 4 pounds of lead each. Excessive lead and other toxins pose a problem in landfills because they can leach into groundwater
In combustors, the lead winds up on the ash residue, which in turn disposed of in landfills. Lead exposure ahs been linked with learning disabilities, behavioral problems and at very high levels, seizures, coma and even death.
Most printer cartridges are easily recycled, refilled or re-built. But printer vendors sell the printer cheap, and make their real money selling supplies. The “right” environmental solution is to sell new cartridges with a postage paid mailer for returning the old one. Some advanced companies, such as Hewlett-Packard, have been known to do this especially for laser printers.
Lead-Acid/Automotive Batteries :
Lead batteries are this country’s principal source of power for automobiles, trucks, motorcycles, boats, forklifts, golf cats, lawn and garden tractors, and wheelchairs. These heavy, rectangular batteries contain sulfuric acid, which can burn skin on contact.
Alkaline Batteries :
Alkaline batteries are standard household batteries. They are used in product from walkmans and clocks, to smoke detectors and remote controls. Since -1994, most types contain no added mercury or only contain trace amounts. These batteries are market “no added mercury” or may by market with a green tree logo.
Button Batteries :
These batteries are named for being small round and silver-colored. They are most commonly found in watches and hearing aids. Many button batteries contain mercury of silver oxide, both metal that are toxic to humans when inhaled or ingested.
Nickel-Cadmium Rechargeable Batteries :
These batteries are marked “Rechargeable” and are found in many products including: cell phones, cordless phones, laptops, power tools, camcorders and remote controlled toys. NiCads contain cadmium, a metal that is toxic to humans when inhaled or ingested.
Lithium Batteries :
These batteries are mainly used in computer, camcorders, laptop and cameras, lithium ignites when in contact with water and has been notorious for causing serious fires.
Old Refrigerators, Heat Pumps and Air Conditioners :
Mostly, old refrigeration equipment contains Freon, a chemical known as a Chlorinated Fluorocarbon or “CFC” Each molecule of a CFC can destroy over 100,000 molecules of the earth’s protective ozone coating, leading increased risk of sunburn, cataracts and skin cancer for the entire population of the planet (human and animal
Many of the plastics used in electronic equipment contain flame retardants. These are generally halogens added to the plastic resin, making the plastics difficult to recycle. Due to the flame retardants being additives, they easily leach off the material in hot weather, which is a problem because when disposed of, electronic waste is generally left outside. The flame retardants leach into the soil and recorded levels were 93 times higher than soil with no contact with electronic waste.
Electrical and electronic equipment contain different hazardous materials which are harmful to human health and the environment if not disposed of carefully. While some naturally occurring substances are harmless in nature, their use in the manufacture of electronic equipment often results in compounds which are hazardous (e.g. chromium becomes chromium VI)
THE USE OF HALOGENS AND HUMAN HEALTH
Chlorofluorocarbons are compounds composed of carbon, fluorine, chlorine, and sometimes hydrogen. Used mainly in cooling units and insulation foam, they have been phased out because when released into the atmosphere, they accumulate in the stratosphere and have a deleterious effect on the ozone layer. This results in increased incidence of skin cancer in humans and in genetic damage in many organisms
THE USE OF HEAVY METALS AND HUMAN HEALTH
Chromium and its oxides are widely used because of their high condctivity and anti corrosive properties Most chromium (VI) compounds are irritating to eyes, skin and mucous membranes. Chronic exposure to chromium (VI) compounds can cause permanent eye injury, unless properly treated. Chromium VI may also cause DNA damage.
Lead is the fifth most widely used metal after iron, aluminium, copper and zinc. It is commonly used in the electrical and electronics industry in solder, lead-acid batteries, electronic components, cable sheathing, in the glass of CRTs etc. Short-term exposure to high levels of lead can cause vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions, coma or even death. Other symptoms are appetite loss, abdominal pain, constipation, fatigue, sleeplessness, irritability and headache. Continued excessive exposure, as in an industrial setting, can affect the kidneys. It is particularly dangerous for young children because it can damage nervous connections and cause blood and brain disorders.
hronic exposure to arsenic can lead to various diseases of the skin and decrease nerve conduction velocity. Chronic exposure to arsenic can also cause lung cancer and can often be fatal.
Barium is a metallic element that is used in sparkplugs, fluorescent lamps and "getters" in vacuum tubes. exposure to barium could lead to brain swelling, muscle weakness, damage to the heart, liver and spleen.
Beryllium has recently been classified as a human carcinogen because exposure to it can cause lung cancer. exposed to beryllium, even in small amounts, and who become sensitised to it can develop what is known as Chronic Beryllium Disease (beryllicosis), a disease which primarily affects the lungs.
INDIA AND ITS PREVENTIVE MEASURES:::
The unsustainability of discarding electronics and computer technology is another reason commending the need to recycle or to reuse electronic waste.
Consumer recycling options include
1) donating equipment directly to organizations in need,
2) sending devices directly back to their original manufacturers,
3) getting components to a convenient recycler or refurbisher.
4)Donation Consumer recycling includes a variety of donation options, such as charities which may offer tax benefits
Individuals looking for environmentally-friendly ways in which to dispose of electronics can find corporate electronic takeback and recycling programs across the country. Corporations nationwide have begun to offer low-cost to no-cost recycling, open to the public in most cases, and have opened centers nationally and in some cases internationally. Such programs frequently offer services to take back and recycle electronics, including mobile phones, laptop and desktop computers, digital cameras, and home and auto electronics. Companies such as Staples,Toshiba and Gateway offer takeback programs that provide monetary incentives for recyclable and/or working technologies. The Manufacturers Recycling Management Co. was founded by Panasonic, Sharp Corporation, and Toshiba to manage electronic waste branded by these manufacturers, including 750 tons of TVs, computers, audio equipment, faxes, and components in its first four
Many new for-profit electronic recycling companies purchase and recycle all brands of working and broken electronics, whether from individuals or corporations. Such companies also offer free recycling for old electronics without market value