Electronic waste is an important aspect of solid waste management around the world. Being a large part of solid waste, e-waste contains numerous hazardous components which can leave adverse impacts on plants, microbes, and human health. One of the major toxic components of e-waste are heavy metals (HMs), which need to be handled carefully at the time of dismantling the e-wastes. Also, the available disposal/treatment technologies of e-waste are inadequate, and they have a direct as well as indirect impact on human health and the environment. Furthermore, the amount of e-waste generated globally adversely affects important ecosystem factors, like soil, plants, microbes, and animals, including humans.
Negative Impacts on the Environment
As e-waste is heated up, toxic chemicals are released into the atmosphere, damaging the environment. The damage to the atmosphere is one of the most significant environmental impacts of e-waste. When e-waste is informally disposed of by dismantling, shredding, or melting the components, dust particles or poisonous elements, such as dioxins, are released into the atmosphere, causing air pollution and harming respiratory health. As e-waste is burned more frequently, chronic diseases and cancers are more likely to arise because it emits small particles that can travel thousands of kilometers, posing severe health risks to humans and animals. High-value materials, like gold and silver, are frequently extracted from highly integrated circuits using acids, desoldering, and other chemicals, which emit fumes in locations where recycling is not well regulated. The harmful consequences of informal e-waste recycling on the environment are most severe for workers who handle this material, although pollution can spread thousands of miles away from the recycling centers.
As toxic materials seep into groundwater when electronic waste is thrown away in landfills, both land and sea animals are affected. The groundwater becomes polluted with heavy metals such as mercury, lead, lithium, and barium from e-waste that travels through the earth. Groundwater eventually integrates with these metals, which end up in streams, rivers, and lakes. Even kilometers away from recycling sites, large amounts of toxic elements can be found in the water, which poses a massive threat to animals, insects, and human communities.
Illegal disposal of e-waste in landfills, both heavy metals and flame retardants, can find their way into the soil. There is a risk of contamination of groundwater and crops grown nearby if these chemicals are released. Crops become susceptible to absorbing these toxins when heavy metals pollute the soil, causing a variety of diseases and preventing farms from growing optimal crops. Pollution of the soil occurs when these particles are buried or redeposited rapidly on the ground.
Negative Impact on Human Health
Toxic components in electronic waste like mercury, cadmium, lead, barium, and lithium are hazardous to human health. Their harmful health effects cause damage to brain cells, liver, kidneys, and even the skeletal system. They can also negatively impact the neurological and reproductive system of the human body, resulting in illness and birth abnormalities.
JR Recycling Solutions Actively Prevent Environment Pollution From E-Waste
Since our inception, JR Recycling Solutions has been highly concerned about the adverse effect of e-waste on the environment and human health. So, we have been actively working in Bangladesh as an e-waste management and eco-recycler company since 2011. Not only do we recycle consumer electronic materials but also dismantle e-waste for Bangladesh Police Telecom and Rapid Action Battalion. We recently signed a memorandum of understanding with VIVO Bangladesh and Grameen Distribution Ltd for their e-waste management. We are proactively working to save our country from global warming at the same time.