As technology became intertwined into everyday life its evolution has became expeditious. This rapid evolution means that technology will become outdated and abandoned quickly. Unused or damaged electronics are considered E-waste. Some people aren’t aware of the dangers of throwing away E-waste and will throw away electronics with no regard of what happens after. E-waste contains harmful toxins that cause adverse effects to the environment. Below are 5 effects E-waste has on the environment.
Pollution of Soil
Pollution of the landfill soil is where the dangers E-waste begin. Electronics contain elements that are harmful to soil. Electronics are not biodegradable and will cause long lasting damage to the landfill indefinitely. When these electronics are in the landfill, this raises the levels of lead, mercury, zinc and other harmful elements drastically. E-waste can permanently change the biological properties of the soil of the landfill. This in turn can damage the surrounding community including animals and people.
Once electronics are in the landfill, the inevitable is going to happen—it will rain. When it does, all of those chemicals in the electronics will run off with the water. In many parts of the world this runoff will end up reaching major bodies of water—such as a community’s water supply. Not only will this affect the surrounding community, this affects the ecosystem of the body of water which causes even more adverse effects.
When soil and water are contaminated by the toxins released by E-waste it not only affects the landfill but the surrounding area as well. When the water sources and soil are changed, this has an effect on the plants and animals living in that area. A lot of the plants that animals, such as deer and other herbivores eat are now tainted. This means the animals must migrate to find new food, causing a chain reaction through the food chain. The same effect happens in water as well. When lead and mercury get into a water supply, this not only affects the animals on land using that water source for survival but drastically affects the marine life as well.
Many landfills and waste management companies use incinerators to dispose of their waste. Because of all of the chemical compounds in an electronic item, incineration releases hydrocarbons into the atmosphere. These hydrocarbons worsen our quality of air and also cause a greenhouse effect. Greenhouse effect has been proven to warm the surface of the earth. By removing your electronics improperly you could be contributing to these negative effects.
The Human Body
All of the environmental effects above coincide with the issues that affect humans directly. When the human body is exposed to the chemical compounds that exist in E-waste the effects can be deadly. One of the prevalent elements in E-waste is Mercury. When the human body is exposed to Mercury it can cause harm to the central nervous system, kidneys, and much more. Arsenic is another element that is deadly when ingested through air pollution. When E-Waste is burnt the arsenic pollutes the air it causes lung, kidney, skin, and liver cancer. Lastly, when lead exposure occurs through water this causes major brain and nervous system damage. Lead is also extremely dangerous to fetal development and young children. These three examples are only a small portion of the issues E-waste presents to the human body.
The best way to help the effort in stopping E-waste from harming the environment is to recycle your electronics. If you’re in the Central Florida area and have electronic equipment you are looking to get rid of call Orlando Recycles today at 407-273-1395. Not only will you be helping put an end to the damage E-waste causes to the environment, but you can also make some money by recycling with us. We offer a free pickup & free evaluation of your electronic equipment.