The electronic industry has been the largest and fastest growing manufacturing industry in the world for more than a decade . On the one hand , advances in technology have allowed economic growth and contributed to a steady improvement in people ‘s lives . At present most individuals and businesses are dependent to a significant extent on computers and many other modern electronic inventions . On the other hand , the side effect of such a rapid pace of technological progress is the growing number of electronic wastes , particularly in the industrialized nations . Electronic wastes [banner_entry_middle]
, or e-wastes , include all home and business electronic appliances such as televisions , monitors computers , audio and stereo equipment , fax and copy machines , cellular phones , video cameras , etc that are no longer wanted . The fast evolution of technology has continuously led to decreased product prices that have discouraged upgrading or repair and increased the demand for new products and the disposal of old ones (Manalac Electronic Waste : A Threat In The Future
About 400 million units of unwanted electronics equipment are discarded every year , and this figure is expected to reach three billion units by 2010 . According to various estimates , in the United States alone over 200 tons of electronic wastes are sent to landfills and incinerators every year which already constitutes from 2 to 5 of the US municipal solid waste stream . Moreover , this volume of e-waste is rising by 3 to 5 per year ( Harmful Effects
Obsolete personal computers and televisions with cathode ray tubes present the most serious problems in the matter . It is estimated that over 500 million computers will be discarded between 1997 and 2007 , and this will create more than six billion of plastic and over 1 .5 billion pounds of lead waste . Cellphones pose a problem , too . They are used , on average , for just 18 months before being disposed of and every year around 150 million cellphones are discarded now . As regards rechargeable batteries – their use has increased nearly by 75 since 2000 (Allbritton Desktop Recycling . When discarded electronic wastes are improperly recycled or just dumped into landfills , they pose a serious danger to the environment and human health because of harmful materials that they contain such as lead , mercury , arsenic , cadmium , selenium , flame retardants , etc
When those substances are released into the environment they contaminate water , land or air and also affect coronary , respiratory nervous and skeletal systems in the human body ( Harmful Effects
Even if the dumping problem does not seem so bad in the United States yet , it is environmentally disastrous in certain third world countries such as China , India or the Philippines to which about 50 to 80 of US e-wastes are sent ( Harmful Effects . Due to cheap labor , it is more economical for American recycling companies to ship e-wastes to poor nations instead of processing them under the strict hazardous waste standards which exist in the United States (Allbritton Desktop Recycling . Besides , the practice of dumping toxic materials overseas has been actively encouraged by the US… [banner_entry_footer]
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