The rapid growth of technology, upgradation of technical innovations and a high rate of obsolescence in the electronics industry have led to one of the fastest growing waste streams in the world which consist of end of life electrical and electronic equipment products. It comprises a whole range of electrical and electronic items such as refrigerators, washing machines, computers and printers, televisions, mobiles, i-pods, etc., many of which contain toxic materials. Many of the trends in consumption and production processes are unsustainable and pose serious challenge to environment and human health.
E-waste is not hazardous if it is stocked in safe storage or recycled by scientific methods or transported from one place to the other in parts or in totality in the formal sector. The e-waste can be considered hazardous if recycled by primitive methods
Major Toxins in E?waste
• Toxins in e?waste include polyvinyl chloride (PVC plastics), copper, lead, mercury, arsenic (in older models), cadmium, manganese, cobalt, gold, and iron.
• Between 1994 and 2003, disposal of PCs resulted in 718,000 tons of lead, 287 tons of mercury, and 1,363 tons of cadmium
• Mercury, chromium, lead, and brominated flame retardants are likely to cause the most adverse health effects in humans.
Survey was carried out by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) during 2005
In India, among top ten cities; Mumbai ranks first in generating e-waste followed by Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Ahmadabad, Hyderabad, Pune, Surat and Nagpur.