The Shocking Environmental Consequences of E-Waste
Updated: Apr 28, 2022
Electronic waste, also commonly known as e-waste, involves any electronic device at the end of its life cycle. Once that product becomes unusable, you might think about disposing of it in the trash. What else can you do with it—right? Unbeknownst to many, all electronics that we cherish contain toxic substances that, when mishandled, can cause harm to humans, animals, and the environment.
Here are some of the shocking environmental consequences of e-waste that you probably weren’t aware of.
Landfilling materials and having them incinerated is an improper technique in electronic disposal that releases particles and toxins into the air. Otherwise known as dioxins, these particles are responsible for air pollution and can damage respiratory health.
Regardless of their value, burning electronics can put people at a higher risk of developing chronic diseases due to the release and high travel ability of these fine particles. Polluted air can also threaten certain animal species, put them at risk of endangerment, and cause irreversible damage to ecosystems.
Improper disposal of e-waste affects soil in landfills because they are usually the designated place for many of these products. Heavy metals and flame retardants can leak and seep into the ground and cause underlying groundwater contamination. These chemicals can affect future crops or even nearby crops in the area.
Crops then become vulnerable to toxins and can cause many illnesses and affect farmland. When dismantling and shredding e-waste, the particles can re-deposit into the ground, can stay in the soil for long periods, and can negatively impact microorganisms in plants and nature.
Once these pollutants affect the soil, their next target is the water. Elements like mercury, lead, lithium, and barium penetrate the dirt and reach groundwater. Once these components reach the water, their traces make their way into ponds, streams, lakes, and rivers. These harmful elements create acidification and toxification that is incredibly harmful to animals.
Acids and toxins are also dangerous to nearby plants and communities and can make it challenging to have clean drinking water as a future resource.
Shocking, isn’t it? The environmental consequences of e-waste are many, but the good news is that you can do your part to mitigate the effects of improper electronic disposal.
At Evergreen IT Solutions, our mission is to excel in e-waste recycling in San Jose to fight against the lasting effects of unsafe electronic disposal practices on the environment. Regardless of your business’s size, our team of professionals can work on-site to package e-waste material for you. If you have questions, feel free to contact us today.