We always tend to replace our phones, laptops, electronic home appliances and office devices with more advanced ones and throw away the older, thus making E-waste accumulates nearly three times faster than any other waste.
In 2019, approximately 53.6 million metric tons of e-wastes was produced globally. This was an increase of 44.4 million metric tons in just five years. Of this, just 17.4 percent was documented to be collected and properly recycled.
E-waste is often considered an overlooked epidemic, as the long-term impact of this waste is still unclear, in this article, we will be shedding the light on the scary effects of e-wastes on human body and the environment
Electronic waste (e-waste) contains toxic components that are dangerous on the human health similar but not limited to mercury, lead, barium, lithium and cadmium.
If disposed irresponsibly e-wastes can cause direct impact on our brain, heart, liver, kidney and bones and cause heath issues such as:
- Kidney damage
- DNA damage
- Muscle weakness
- Endocrine system disruption
- Impact on nervous system
- Weak immune system
- Lung cancer
And in case, e-wastes left unnoticed for a longer period of time, these deadly materials can also affect the humans’ reproductive system and cause birth defects.
On the other hand, improper disposal of e-waste is unbelievably dangerous to the global environment as well causing severe side effects on air, soil and water.
Air pollution from e-wastes is caused when e-waste of little value is often burned to get valuable metals, like copper or by adding acid to get higher value material like gold and silver.
Such irresponsible disposal of e-wastes releases fine particles and fumes which can travel thousands of meters, creating numerous negative health risks to humans and animals.
When improper disposal of e-waste in regular landfills or in places where it is dumped illegally, both heavy metals and flame retardants can seep directly from the e-waste into the soil, causing contamination of crops that may be planted near-by or in the area in the future.
After soil contamination these toxins then leak through the earth even further to reach groundwater. When these heavy metals reach groundwater, they eventually make their way into ponds, streams, rivers and lakes.
To avoid these toxic effects of e-waste, it is crucial to properly e-cycle, so that items can be recycled, refurbished, resold, or reused.
Enviroserve Kuwait offers a disposal drop-off location for residents and a pick-up service for businesses.