Electronics produce one of the fastest growing “waste streams” in the world.
Nearly 2 million tons of used electronics are discarded each year. An estimated 130 million cell phones alone are retired from use annually. With an ample supply of newer, faster electronic products on the market, Americans continually replace older models.
Most electronics contain hazardous or toxic materials.
Many electronic devices contain lead, chromium, cadmium, mercury and PCBs. Batteries can contain cadmium, lead, mercury, copper, zinc, manganese, lithium, or potassium. Toxic substances break down and leach into land, food and drinking water. In some areas, environmental and health code enforcement can be weak and improperly-disposed materials end up in water supplies or burned, creating an inevitable consumption that harms those who live in proximity to these conditions.
Negative effects of improper disposal:
- Contaminated soil, food and water
- High volumes of Bromine and Chlorine, highly toxic carcinogens, in the environment
- Brain damage
- Kidney disease
- Birth defects
- Learning disabilities
- Certain types of cancers