Source: Universal Recycling Technologies
Used computers, monitors and other electronic equipment that are disposed of improperly have the potential to contaminate our environment and prematurely fill our existing landfills. The cheapest methods of managing e-waste may not be the most responsible and may expose generations to liability in many forms both here and abroad.
Products Of Waste And Benefits Of E-Waste Recycling
- Barium: Present in the CRT (cathode ray tube) in order to help prevent exposure to radiation. Short-term exposure to barium can lead to muscle weakness, brain swelling, and damage to the liver, spleen, and heart.
- Beryllium: A human carcinogen that is often included in motherboards and connectors.
- Brominated Flame Retardants: These retardants are likely endocrine disrupters. They can reducts thyroxin levels in animals and can be dangerous for pregnant women.
- Cadmium: Can harm fragile bones and has been found to be linked to kidney damage. This is often present in smiconductors, infrared detectors, in SMD chip resistors, older cathode ray tubes and some plastics pieces of equipment.
- Hexavalent Chromium: Used as a hardener for the shape of the sytems and to protect steel plates from corrosion. Exposure can lead to asthmatic bronchitis as well as DNA damage.
- Lead: The CRT (cathode ray tube) displays often contain anywhere from 4 to 8 pounds of lead. Lead can delay or inhibit mental development of young children and fetuses, and can be toxic to the kidneys, reproductive and nervous systems.
- Mercury: Commonly found in wiring boards, switches, light bulbs, and flat panel displays. It has been found to be linked with kidney and brain damage as well. It is extremely harmful to developing fetuses and can be passed through fish and breast milk.
- Plastics: The average computer contains around 13.8 pounds of plastic in the connectors, covers, and cables. Burning plastic can emit toxins and recycling it can be extremely difficult is plastics are combined.