Electronic and electrical waste includes ICT equipment, Consumer electronics, Small household appliances and large household appliances.
Why should we recover e-waste?
Electronic and electrical waste contains both valuable and potentially hazardous material that can be recovered through proper recycling, while hazardous fractions can be treated prior to safe disposal.
Possible Health effects if e-waste is mismanaged
E-waste recycling has direct and indirect effects on human health conditions.
Direct impacts on human health may be caused by:
• Dust in indoor air generated in manual and mechanical dismantling processes (e.g. when processing plastics or Cathode Ray Tubes (CRTs) found in old TVs and Computer screens);
• Filter dust generated in the mechanical dismantling process;
• Noise emissions during the manual and mechanical dismantling process (conveyor belts, hammering, shredders etc.);
• Deviations from occupational safety standards;
Indirect impacts on human health may be caused by:
• Air pollution related to (HT) incineration (however the situation has been very much improved since waste gas purification systems are a common standard);
• Emissions due to transportation of materials;
• Contamination of water systems and soil near landfills.
The indirect impacts on human health are difficult to quantify, among others because of synergistic effects and the time-lag between exposure and reaction.