It is easy to overlook an issue when it does not impact us directly. We are all guilty of doing this. After all, we have so much going on in our everyday lives, and there are so many things that consume our time. This is understandable. But the truth is, e-waste is a truly massive problem, and it is something that is impacting human health.
Where do our computers and phones end up?
You don’t need to try to save the world, but if we all make little changes, we could actually be saving peoples’ lives. What do we mean by little changes? Simply disposing of your electronics, like your cell phones and computers, in the correct manner helps! Recycle them instead of throwing them in the trash can. Basically we should be doing whatever we can to make sure our computers and phones don’t not end up in landfills around the world.
E-waste threatens the environment
If you can dispose of your cell phones and computers correctly, you will make a massive change. This is not something that should be taken lightly. The truth behind the problem of e-waste is a very frightening one. A lot of people are unaware about how damaging electronic waste is.
However, when we throw away batteries, mobile phones, refrigerators and other things like this, what we are doing is allowing dangerous elements, such as lead and mercury, to leak into the environment. This is not only posing a threat to our beautiful planet but it is causing a severe threat to human health. Why? Well, the vast majority of this e-waste is exported to developing nations. Here, adults and children are risking their lives just so they can find items that they can make money.
The truth about e-waste and third world countries
Ghana is one of the worst areas for e-waste landfills. You will find children brandishing hammers and chisels so that they can pry apart casings and extract the wires that are inside. They rummage around these polluted and illegal sites looking for anything that can earn them money.
On average, they earn around $1.60 a day for their efforts; all the while they are ruining their health and risking their lives. Of course, we think that this sounds ridiculous. Why would you put your health at such risk for less than $2.00. But, these families have nothing, and they will do whatever they can to put some food on the table.
While these individuals are stripping away keyboards and trying to find copper, they are breathing in dangerous fumes. You only need to look online for photographs and videos to see the acrid black smoke that surrounds these dumpsites. But, that doesn’t do the horrific conditions justice, as the vile smell overwhelms the areas, causing people to choke and feel unwell.
It is not only a risk for those who rummage through the sites, but there are many people that live near these tips as well. It is believed that cancer and other illnesses kill a large number of young people in these areas, which is worrying when oncology is not as advanced in those areas. They do all of this so that they have a bit of money to buy some vegetables.
When you consider that global e-waste is set to get worse and worse, you see why this is a worrying concern. The truth about e-waste is a scary thing. But, with time on our side, we can make sure we don’t reach the predicted figure.