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The Growing E-Waste Epidemic

The Growing E-Waste Epidemic What is E-Waste? "Electronic waste" may be defined as discarded computers, office electronic equipment, entertainment device electronics, cell phones, television sets and refrigerators. Some electronic scrap components may contain contaminants such as lead, cadmium, mercury, beryllium, or brominated flame retardants. How Much E-Waste Came From the United States in 20O10 E-Waste Products We E-Waste (By the Ton) Use Every Day (By the Unit) Computers, Laptops & CPUS 39.7% Recycling Rate Disposed -- 423,000 tons Recycled -- 168,000 tons Disposed -- 51,900,000 units Recycled -- 20,600,000 units Cellphones Pagers 11.4% Disposed -- 19,500 tons Recycled -- 2,240 tons Disposed - 152,000,000 units Recycled -- 17,400,000 units Recycling Rate Televisions 17.3% Recycling Rate Disposed - 1,045,000 tons Recycled -- 181,000 tons Disposed -- 28,500,000 units Recycled -- 4,940,000 units Computer Monitors 32.7% Disposed -- 595,000 tons Recycled -- 194,000 tons Recycling Rate Disposed -- 35,800,000 units Recycled -- 11,700,000 units Printers Copiers Fax Machines Disposed -- 290,000 tons Recycled -- 97,000 tons 33.3% Disposed -- 33,600,000 units Recycled -- 11,200,000 units Recycling Rate Keyboards & Mice 9.5% Recycling Rate Disposed -- 67,800 tons Recycled -- 6,460 tons Disposed - 82,200,000 units Recycled -- 7,830,000 units In 2010, the United States produced over 2,440,000 tons of E-Waste. But, Fun Fact: we only recycled 649,000 tons. or 26.6% of it. We trashed or recycled approximately 142,000 computers and 416,000 mobile devices every day! How Much Precious Metal Is In Your Cell Phone? Experts estimate that we can recover the following amounts of precious metals for every 1 million cell phones we recycle. In 2010, we sent over 134 million cellphones into a landfill. Silver Gold Palladium Copper 20,000 Ibs. 550 Ibs. 50 Ibs. 20 Ibs. 7 Hazardous Materials Commonly Found in E-waste Cadmium: Commonly found in light-sensitive resistors and rechargeable batteries, cadmium is an extremely toxic metal that can leach into the soil and disrupt the overall ecosystem. Cadmium is known to cause severe damage to your lungs and kidneys. toxic Mercury: Commonly found in fluorescent lighting, thermostats and flat screen monitors, Mercury is another toxic substance that can wreak havoc on your health. Common symptoms of mercury poisoning include dermatitis, memory loss, muscle weakness and death! Lead: Lead is one of the most common toxic substances found in e-waste. It is found in batteries, solder, and the glass from CRT monitors. With a wide variety of health symptoms, lead poisoning can have a negative effect on your heart, intestines, kidneys, bones and nervous system. Americium: A known carcinogenic, Americium is a highly radioactive element that is commonly found in smoke alarms and industrial gauges. When not handled in appropriate laboratory conditions, Americium may lead to the formation of cancer cells in your body. Arsenic: Arsenic can be found in many substances, but when it comes to e-waste, you can find this toxic substance in old cathode ray tubes and light emitting diodes. Arsenic should not be taken lightly, as it has been linked to cancer, strokes, heart disease, chronic lower respiratory diseases and death. Beryllium Oxide: Another known carcinogenic, Beryllium Oxide can be found in thermal grease used in CPUS and power transistors, among other things. Exposure to Beryllium Oxide usually starts when you inhale it or get it in your eyes. Berylliosis symptoms include anorexia, chest pain, cyanosis, pulmonary insufficiency, and even lung cancer. danger Flame Retardants: Flame retardants are commonly found in plastics used in electronics. Exposure to flame retardants have been linked to impaired development of the nervous system, thyroid problems and liver complications. How to Properly Dispose of Your E-Waste 1. Repurpose If it's possible, find another purpose for your old electronics. You may not use them as much as you used to, but that doesn't mean you should just throw them in the trash. There are also plenty of companies out there that will gladly take your old electronics or IT equipment, and give them another lease on life. Got E-Waste? Repurpose! 2. Recycle If you can't repurpose your E-waste, then recycling is one of the best things you can do for Mother Nature. Try finding an E-Stewards Certified recycling facility, as they have been independently verified to handle E-waste in the most globally responsible way. 3. Sell This may be easier said than done, but instead of trashing your old electronics, try selling them to somebody. It may be old to you, but it could make somebody else very happy, and put a little money in your pocket. Sources: and_Figures on_EWaste and_Recycling pdf waste phpid=0000000163 poisoning SERVER MONKEY Infographic By: Jeff Flowers for

The Growing E-Waste Epidemic

shared by Bukowsky on Mar 08
As technology advances, so does our urge to get the latest and greatest electronics out there, but what happens to the electronics we no longer want? Have you ever stopped to think about how much of t...


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