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Our E Waste Is Harming The Environment And Developing Countries

1229 words - 5 pages

What is E-waste? E-waste is also known as electronic waste in which we no longer use our electronics. Did you know that “a massive eighty percent of the e-waste that is generated worldwide is not properly recycled” (Ford, Matt.)? What happens with the electronics when we are done with them if they are not recycled properly? Most people just toss out their unwanted electronics, but do you know what happens if you just toss the products? Many end up half way across the world distributed all over third-world countries’ land. According to the article “Illegal E-Waste from America Poisons Communities Overseas”, Scott Pelley states, “It’s literally acres of computer monitors” that have been ...view middle of the document...

They not only face harm to their environment, but they face harm to themselves.
Meanwhile we are living here in the U.S. with very few health conditions from pollution, but the people in the developing countries are facing a lot of health problems from the toxins and pollutants in the water and air. The materials that are coming from the E-waste are “Lead, cadmium, mercury, chromium, polyvinyl chlorides.” These materials are causing “toxicological effects that range from brain damage to kidney disease to mutations, cancers,” said Allen Hershkowitz, ( Along with these effects researchers “found pregnancies are six times more likely to end in miscarriage, and seven out of ten kids have too much lead in their blood”( According to “Illegal E-Waste from America Poisons Communities Overseas” researchers revealed that Guiyu a site in China, has one of the highest levels of cancer, producing dioxins in the entire world (
However, others may believe that sending our E-waste to developing countries is a great idea. If the toxins are polluting the developing countries and not affecting us, then why should we go out of our way to fix the problem? We don’t need to make a change if it’s not affecting us. If we were to keep the E-waste here it would only cause the same problems here. Thus we shouldn’t have to make a change in our developed countries, but they should figure out a way to properly take care of our waste. Even though the E-waste is not harming most of the developed countries we should still care about what is happening to our waste in the third world countries. We need to become more aware of what is happening to our E-waste and make a difference. If we are to keep our E-waste in our own countries and take care of it properly instead of sending it to be discarded in developing countries, then we could make a difference. It will take a while before our change will make a difference in the other countries, but at least we know that we are not causing harm to others because of our terrible decision making.
In order to try and prevent our e-waste from being shipped to developing countries we should make sure as consumers, that we take our e-waste to certified recyclers and have the waste taken care of in our own country. The common certification to look for is e-Steward certification which “relies on independent, third-party auditors to verify safe and ethical disposal of the hundreds of tons of unwanted electronics...

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