E-waste effects on the environment and human health

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E-waste effects on the environment and human health

The main problems deriving from E-waste are the presence of substances considered toxic for the environment and the non-biodegradability of these appliances. The growing diffusion of electronic devices determines an ever greater risk of abandonment in the environment or in landfills and waste-to-energy plants with consequences of soil, air and water pollution with repercussions on human health.

E-waste is a particular type of waste consisting of any electrical or electronic equipment that the owner intends to discard as it is faulty, unused or obsolete and therefore destined for abandonment. These products must be treated correctly and destined for the differentiated recovery of the materials of which they are composed, such as copper, iron, steel, aluminum, glass, silver, gold, lead, mercury, thus avoiding a waste of resources that can be reused to build new equipment in addition to environmental sustainability.

The recovery treatments are carried out in order to be able to clean up the components from materials that are hazardous to health or the environment and to dispose of them correctly, and thus to be able to proceed with the recovery of all the reusable components and of all the recyclable materials among the damaged or unusable parts, or whose cost of verification and testing does not determine an economic advantage, and ultimately properly dispose of non-recyclable materials.

The research: E-waste management and its effects on the environment and human health, published on the The Science of the total environment, explained these potential risks in its retrospective. The researchers told: "Challenges in managing electronic waste (E-waste) arise from a lack of technical skills, poor infrastructure, inadequate financial support, and inactive community engagement.

This study provides a systematic review of efforts to overcome these challenges in the context of inappropriate recycling protocols of E-waste and their toxic effects on human health and the environment. An inventory of end-of-life electronic products, which can be established through the creation of an environment friendly regulatory regime for recycling, is essential for the proper control of E-waste.

An approach has been articulated to help implement effective management of E-waste in both developed and developing countries. Enforcement of systematic management measures for E-waste in developing countries coupled with best practices is expected to minimize adverse impacts while helping maintain a sustainable and resilient environment. "