E-waste causing havoc in the East

By Derek Sooman on August 22, 2005, 1:58 PM
The environment surrounding the crude electronics recycling plants of China and India has pollution that has now reached drastic levels, according to a study conducted by Greenpeace. It is reported that "contamination from a cocktail of chemicals" is present, and that every single stage of the recycling process is contributing to this situation.

"Although clearly not an exhaustive study of e-waste recycling facilities in either country, the results do provide an illustration of the breadth and scale of health and environmental concerns arising from the industrial sector," reads the report.

"Both wastes and hazardous chemicals used in the processing are commonly handled with little regard for the health and safety of the workforce or surrounding communities and with no regard for the environment.

"Overall the result is severe contamination of the workplace and adjacent environment with a range of toxic metals and persistent organic contaminants."

The report comments that while Europe's WEEE Directive and RoHS go some way to addressing the problem, they do not go far enough. These pieces of legislation only have a regional reach, and canít be a complete solution. The report goes on to comment on the urgent need for manufacturers of electronic good to take responsibility for their products.




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