Let’s start the conversation with a few questions.
Do you update your office’s IT assets every year? Do you purchase the latest devices every time a new one is released to keep your business at par with the latest technology?
Now face the real question: How do you dispose of the obsolete, outdated and non-functioning electronic waste during the annual IT asset upgradation process?
E-waste or electronic-waste has drawn attention in recent years due to its scary effects on human body and the environment. In 2018 alone, the world created around 50 million tons of e-waste that includes outdated or damaged electronic devices such as laptops, computers, mobile phones, tablets etc. With slow and sometimes unnoticeable effects, this is an overlooked epidemic gradually killing both the human as well as the environment.
Though many electronic waste recycling centres have been created in the pasts few years, these are still underutilized. And one of the major reasons behind this is the limited knowledge of the impacts of e-waste. In this article we’ll discuss the scary and devastating impacts of improper IT asset disposition on the environment and human health.
E-waste impact on human health
Electronic waste contains toxic components such as mercury, lead, polybrominated flame retardants and cadmium that if get in contact with human body can leave dangerous effects. These toxins, which are also called persistent bio accumulative toxins (PBTs) have a direct impact on brain, heart, liver, kidney and bones. If left unnoticed for a longer period of time, these deadly materials can also affect the reproductive system of the human body leading to birth of babies of defects.
Some of the common health issues caused by e-waste include:
- Developmental problems
- Kidney damage
- DNA damage
- Muscle weakness
- Endocrine system disruption
- Impact on nervous system
- Weak immune system
- Lung cancer
- Chronic beryllium disease
- Skin ailments
E-waste impact on the soil
The soil of the land where e-waste is disposed also gets toxic due to heavy metals used in the electronic devices. When metals like lead, arsenic etc. leach into the soil, the further spoil the quality of plants, trees and crops growing in that soil. These toxins further enter into the human body through food supply and cause problems like birth defects and other complicated diseases.
Not just the environment and human body, the air pollution caused by the electronic waste also affects some endangering animal species. Lead in the air when inhaled and ingested through water and soil can cause disproportionate neurological damage to animals, wildlife and humans.
Imprudent disposal of electronic waste is remarkably dangerous to the environment and human health, which is why it is important to look for the solution to this problem and the threatening aftermath. E-waste recycling for businesses by experts is one of the ways to minimize the toxic effects and properly e-cycle the waste material.
Most of the times, these discarded devices have commercial value due to the expensive material used in them. Professional electronic waste recycling companies collect these devices and ensure proper disposition, reuse and recycling for the businesses.