Computers, tablets and other IT products we use daily contain chemicals that are in many cases harmful to people and the environment. For instance, flame-retardants in plastics prevent the product from catching fire and phthalates are used to soften the insulation of the cables.
It doesn’t take a genius to see that electronics are more widely used than ever before.. Is it possible to turn the tide on e-waste?
In a new report released by the United Nations University, global electronic waste has reached record high levels. 41.8 metric tonnes of e-waste was generated in 2014, fuelling concerns about the growing risks to public health, resource conservation and the environment.
A new study on the effects of E-waste on human health reveals serious negative outcomes for those dismantling and handling components of discarded electronics. The study, published by the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden, details that workers, some as young as six years of age, are routinely exposed to hazardous materials and inhalation of toxic gases through direct handling of discarded electronics. People affected by this health crisis are mostly in areas where there is little knowledge about the health risks and in many cases no basic health care or social protections.