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E-Waste and its impact on the environment

E-waste or electronic waste is any electronic waste. It includes all types of electronics, from mobile phones and computers to household electronics like pressure cookers, food processors, etc.

Although the effects of E-waste improperly disposed of are not well understood, they pose a real threat to the global environment.

E-waste poses a threat to the environment.

Aircraft effects

Air pollution is one of the most prevalent effects of E-waste. A British documentary, Welcome to Lagos, depicts a group of landfill scavengers going through many landfills in Lagos to find improperly disposed of electronics. This includes blenders and wires. They also make a living from recycling in blacktown these wastes. Open-air burning can cause hydrocarbons to be released into the atmosphere and lead to the men torching wires to extract copper, a valuable commodity.

Water effects

Electronics containing heavy metals like lead, barium and mercury (found in cell phones and computer batteries) are not properly disposed of. These heavy metals can leach through the soil into groundwater channels, which eventually flow to the surface as small streams or ponds. These groundwater and bodies of water are often vital to local communities. These chemicals can cause the death of certain plants and animals. Lead poisoning can also be caused by ingesting contaminated water by land animals and humans. Some heavy metals can also cause cancer.

The effects on soil

This is how toxic heavy metals and chemicals e-waste enter “soil crop-food pathway”, one of the most important routes for heavy metals’ human exposure. These chemicals are not biodegradable. They can persist in the environment for extended periods of time, increasing the chance of being exposed.

These hazards posed by poor disposal of toxic substances in the environment eventually have an impact on human beings. Human cost: Birth defects (irreversible), liver, kidney, and skeletal system damages are some of the health effects. They can also have a significant impact on the nervous system and reproductive system of the human body. Computer monitors and other electronic devices can be contaminated by cancer-causing dioxins that are released into the atmosphere. Electronics that are left in landfills can leach into groundwater, affecting local resources. Incorrect disposal of electronic waste can have adverse effects on the environment as well as indirect consequences that could pose grave dangers for humans and livestock.

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