E-Waste: A Global Hazard and Management Techniques

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Published Sep 14, 2021
Udit Mamodiya

Abstract

Now a days with the advancement in technology there is more and more use of Electronic items and appliances which results in E-Waste. Waste due to electrical items(E-Waste) includes the electrical waste of machines or the electronic appliances which are discarded after their use. It also includes the electrical items which are broken and are of no use [1].    E-Waste is a source of a number of toxic chemicals that are harmful to the environment and human health. Proper Management of E-Waste is one of the major concerns of all the developing and developed countries.

The risk of e-waste to human body, both in terms of chronic and severe conditions, has become a major public health problem. The toxic chemicals of E-Waste has negative effects on both environment and health [2]. Table 1 describes the diseases caused by the toxins present in E-waste.

 

Table1. Negative Effects on Health of Improper E-waste Management

Electronic Products

Toxic Materials

Health effects

Batteries

Cadmium, lead and mercury

  • Birth Defects

  • Brain, heart, skeletal system, liver and kidney damage.


  • Nervous system Damage

  • Reproductive System Damage

Computer Monitors and televisions

Lead

Electronic Switches, light devices and flat screen displays

Mercury

Printed Circuit Boards

Lead, Chromium and mercury

Solder on Circuit Boards

Lead

Old computer and electrical appliances

PCBs

 

As a result, with the advancement of technology there arises a problem of E-Waste, it’s proper disposal and management is necessary for sustainable development. Incineration and other E-waste management techniques are not effective as they cause pollution. For e.g. During incineration a large amount of toxic gases are released which is harmful to workers in the plant and also to the environment. 

Also it is estimated that by 2030 the quantity of E-waste will be more than 74 million metric tons, if waste is not treated properly it will in major hazard in future.

Governments and local authorities around the world face enormous challenges to collect, treat, reuse, and dispose of this fast-growing electronic waste in terms of environmental safety and health[3]. E-Waste on improper disposal releases harmful chemicals in soil which affect soil factors like pH and these toxins get mixed with groundwater and make their way to large water bodies causing water pollution which is harmful for both humans and aquatic life.

The best management techniques for E-Waste are Recycle and Recovery of valuable materials from E-waste. But in India due to lack of skilled workers, the return of precious metals is not very good, therefore, a large percentage of metals such as copper, gold, silver, and other precious metals (palladium, tantalum, platinum, etc.) are discarded and lost. Fig1. Shows the flowchart of the process to recover valuable materials from E-waste [4]. 

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Fig.1. Flowchart showing the process of recovery of materials from E-Waste

 

There is a need for a legal rules and regulations for factories and industries to establish sustainable management practices and hence result in sustainable development.    The purpose of this paper is to raise global awareness about E-Waste and hazards related to it and hence this paper deals with the description of E-Waste, the problems related with it, various methods to recover valuable items from E-waste and its environment friendly disposal. Also, from this paper we get to know about the best management techniques for waste i.e. Recycle and Reuse. The management techniques mentioned in the paper will eliminate the unethical practices of E-Waste disposal and hence stop pollution of environment (air, soil and water) and it will also be beneficial for the health of worker. We need to adapt proper management techniques for sustainable development otherwise in future, waste of electronics will be harmful.

 

How to Cite

Mamodiya, U. (2021). E-Waste: A Global Hazard and Management Techniques. SPAST Abstracts, 1(01). Retrieved from https://spast.org/techrep/article/view/481
Abstract 6 |

Article Details

Keywords

E-waste, Waste Management, Factories, SDG, Sustainable Development Goals, Sustainability

References
[1] Widmer, Rolf, et al. "Global perspectives on e-waste." Environmental impact assessment review 25.5 ,436-458 (2005).
https://doi.org/10.1016%2Fj.eiar.2005.04.001
[2] Kiddee, Peeranart, Ravi Naidu, and Ming H. Wong. "Electronic waste management approaches: An overview." Waste management 33.5 ,1237-1250 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wasman.2013.01.006
[3] Mihai, Florin, and Maria Grazia Gnoni. "E-waste management as a global challenge (introductory chapter)." E-Waste Management as a Global Challenge (Introductory Chapter), E-Waste in Transition-From Pollution to Resource, Dr. Florin-Constantin Mihai (Ed.), InTech (2016).
https://doi.org/10.5772/64596
[4] Chatterjee, Sudeep, and Krishna Kumar. "Effective electronic waste management and recycling process involving formal and non-formal sectors." International Journal of Physical Sciences 4.13 ,893-905 (2009).
https://doi.org/10.5897/IJPS.9000202
Section
SMH1: Management

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