Electronic waste, an environmental hazard

E-waste simply means electronic waste. These are the electronic products that have become undesirable, outdated or have reached the end of their usable life.

Electronic waste, an environmental hazard

E-waste mostly includes computers, monitors, cell phones, fax machines, VCRs, CD players and DVD players etc. Because of rapid technological progression and industrial growth, electronic devices become refuse after short time of utilization and gets into the category of waste.

According to latest reports, In the United States alone there are over 300 million obsolete computers and it is believed that sales of computers and internet usage have gone up by 400 percent in developing countries as well which is one of the alarming situation for the waste management firms.Discarded Electronic waste with combination of electrical appliances

Electronic Waste Repercussions                          

Electronic waste has adverse repercussions on our environment. When we throw out our computers, they wind up in landfills causing the possibility of toxic metal leaching into groundwater. In addition, when E-waste is warmed up, toxic chemicals are released into the air, damaging the atmosphere.

Poor recycling and disposal of electronics possess serious risk of data destruction. Because there is a severe risk of identity theft, data breaches and massive liability for the companies involved. Moreover, cathode ray tubes found in older television, video cameras and computer monitors could cause lethal amount of loss to local communities.

Besides this, toxins in electronic devices like lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, chlorine and bromine could bio accumulate in the food chain causing detrimental damage to soil, water supply and vegetation.  

Electronic waste(microchips) are piled up

Recommendations to manage Electronic waste 

Following are few recommendations to manage E-waste

1, Do not buy useless electronic gadgets

2, Consumers of technology should organize their electronic products in order to prevent buying duplicates.

3, Do not throw outdated electronics but try to donate the needy people.

4, Educate yourself regarding side effects of electronic products consumption and try to buy eco-friendly electronics.

5, Recycle the discarded electronics and batteries through waste management firms.

By Junaid Ahmed Sohoo

The writer is environmental management student/ researcher and dynamic author.