Inadequate E-Waste Disposal Threatens Home and Abroad

April 27, 2012

Health officials are growing increasingly concerned over the effect that Guatemala’s lack of proper electronic waste management services is having on the environment. Demand for electronic devices has skyrocketed in Guatemala, and the country now has more cell phones than people.

Inadequate resources for electronic waste management result in unwanted electronics being dumped in landfills and rivers. Toxic waste experts say that the majority of the public is oblivious to the dangers of electronic waste, and they are unaware of the devastating effects that dumping unwanted electronics can have on both ecosystems and public health.

Improper disposal of electronic waste leaches toxic substances such as mercury, arsenic, selenium, lead, and chrome. When these substances pollute water sources they can have dire effects on those that consume the water, such as infertility, miscarriage, brain damage, cancer, and fetal genetic defects. The absence of public awareness of these side effects only contributes to the problem.

Cell Phones E-WasteThe average cell phone can pollute 50,000 liters of water, and in a country that has over 20 million cell phones and only 14 million people, the potential for toxic waste pollution is staggering. The constant production of new technology is only pushing people to upgrade their products sooner, and electronic consumption rates are the biggest factor in the prevalence of e-waste.

While Guatemala does have some private companies and non-profit organizations that collect and export electronic waste, the country has a desperate need for further resources. Waste management experts believe that one of the biggest factors in reducing Guatemala’s waste rates is to educate people about the danger that electronic waste poses to their health, as well as the environment. Legislation with clear rules outlining the proper disposal of e-waste is another big factor in keeping toxins out of the environment.

Electronic waste poses a huge threat to public health and the environment in Guatemala, but the situation in the U.S. is still far from ideal. Huge rates of electronic consumption mean that Americans have to be proactive about proper e-waste disposal if they want to keep toxic waste from polluting the environment.

The good news is that in the U.S., electronic waste recycling is both eco-friendly and profitable. E-scrap buyers pay cash for certain electronic parts, so if you have old electronics lying around, you can really cash in. CJ Environmental is one of the biggest e-scrap buyers in the U.S. Our refining processes are both safe and effective, ensuring that you’ll always get more for your electronic scrap with CJ Environmental.

 

For more info on the state of electronic waste in the U.S., check out this link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/sustainable-business/electronic-waste-refining

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