E-waste-?an environment and public health hazard All types of waste are not only imported but generated in India hazardous industrial waste, municipal solid waste and e-waste. The quantum of wastes generated over the past several years have posed an ever increasing threat to environment and public health. Over eighty-eight critically polluted industrial zones have been identified by the CB. Pollutants from such zones contaminate water bodies and rivers and even pollute the ground water in many places.
Studies have also shown that crops are contaminated through industrial effluents but the scale of such an impact has yet to be identified. As far as e-waste is concerned, it has emerged as one of the fastest growing waste streams world wide today. The sheer amount of electronic equipments reaching end-of-life poses a huge challenge. Computers and electronics equipments are designed without giving sufficient attention to the aspects such as downstream impacts, and the ease of recycling. Thus, their dismantling is also extremely labor-intensive.
As long as electronic products continue to contain an assortment of toxic chemicals and are designed without recycling aspects, they would pose a threat to environment and public health at their end-of-life. As electronic products are currently constituted, e-waste recycling operations in any country will generate polluting residues and emissions. Toxic Link has reported that India has over 1. 38 million obsolete computers with manufacturers adding about 1,050 tones of electronic scrap every year. It IS currently estimated that India produces some 3. Lake tones of e-waste annually. E-waste now forms over 70 per cent of landfills. When developing countries like India start tightening and enforcing stricter legislation on turnarounds movements of e-waste, developed countries may find it harder to avoid the issue of recycling and disposal through export. However, in March, 2010, in the journal titled Environmental Science and Technology, author Eric Williams, Assistant Professor in Arizona State University, rote, “Trade bans will become increasingly irrelevant in solving the problem (of e-waste)”.
He argues that a complete ban on export of used and end-of-life electronics to developing countries would fail to solve the problem because the developing world would generate more used and end-of-life electronics than the developed countries as early as 2017. Additionally, by 2025, the developing world would generate twice the amount of electronic scrap as what will come from the developed nations.