Millions of tons of e-waste, including computers, printers, mobile phones, and TV’s are shipped to China, India and Africa for disassembling and disposing. Why? Economic efficiency – it is cheaper to export e-waste than to follow stricter environmental and safety rules at home. Many discarded electronics are nearly new, from world famous brands, with fixable defects.Entire families and communities are involved with e-waste, some so poor and desperate to make money that they ignore the risks of toxic poisoning. Fathers, mothers and children disassemble wires and circuits with bare hands, extract precious metals using mercuric acid baths without proper protective gear. Lead poisoning, for example, increases stillbirths and premature birth rates. Hanging in the air and floating in blackened rivers, toxins poison people and the environment.
Global change comes slowly, but small changes in our daily lives are possible, and they are essential indeed.
|Why should we care?