Electronic waste means discarded electronic or electrical devices like discarded mobile phones, television sets, computers, office electronic equipment, refrigerators. E-waste is used to refer those used electronics, which are recyclable, can be reused, disposed.
Serious health and pollution difficulties could happen in developing countries because of informal processing of electronic waste. These countries only have limited ways to regulate e-waste. But with time electronic waste disposal is also getting prominence and different types of techniques are being invented for managing this waste. Cathode ray tubes (CRTs) are regarded as one of the hardest things to recycle. CRTs contain high proportion of phosphors (do not confuse it with phosphorus) and lead, which are essential for the display.
Disadvantages of electronic waste
Electronic waste can be recycled for making new electronic devices. But such a kind of waste could be harmful for environment, health of individuals. Hence proper techniques of electronic waste disposal are needed to implement to manage the waste.
There are manifold disadvantages of electronic waste and they are:
Electronic waste is a rising and complex global problem. Electronics consist of hazardous materials and harmful chemicals too. Lead and mercury is really very dangerous. The usage of lead is done in television monitors and CRTs. It is responsible for causing damage in the nervous system. The usage of mercury is done in flat panel screen displays, which contains neurotoxin. The dangerous metal is really absorbed by the human body just through contaminated drinking water. The e-waste is worse for people.
Improper recycling of electronic waste is done by burning wires for recovering metals, acid stripping and melting circuits. Moreover, the improper recycling process could pose threat to the environment. The recycling process could be done by the assistance of men, women and by small children, who do not have any protection for health.
Proper awareness about e-waste ought to be spread among everybody and it is not known that in what ways the environment is badly affected because of electronic waste.
Some hazardous waste materials are mercury, sulphur, BRFs, cadmium, beryllium oxide, and their effect is bad. Mercury is found in tilt switches, fluorescent tubes. Health effects incorporated dermatitis, sensory impairment, memory loss, muscle weakness. The effects in animals are slower growth and development, death, reduced fertility. Sulphur is present in lead-acid batteries and the harmful health effects are kidney damage, heart and liver damage, throat and eye irritation. Cadmium causes problems like deficits in learning, behavior, cognition and its inhalation can give birth to drastic effects to one’s lungs, kidneys.
Management of electronic waste
Majority of the industries use management techniques to manage electronic waste and they are as follows:
Inventory management is one of the ways for managing e-waste. There must be proper control over the materials that are used in the manufacturing process for reducing waste generation. The other inventory way to reduce waste is by ordering the required quantity of a material and not more.
The installation of new efficient process equipment can aid in reducing waste and such equipments could use process materials better, so, produce less waste.