gadget mountain rising in asia threatens health, environment
In East Asia, waste from discarded electronic equipment and electrical appliances has reached a serious level, posing an increasing threat to health and the environment unless safe disposal becomes the norm.
According to a new study by the United Nations University, China is the biggest culprit for more than doubling the amount of electronic waste.
But almost every country in the region has grown significantly between 2010 and 2015, including those that are least equipped to cope with the growing volume of abandoned smartphones, computers, televisions, air conditioners and other goods.
Electronic waste in 12 countries in the study increased by an average of 2 out of 3 in five years, totaling 12.
There were 3 million tons in 2015 alone.
Revenue growth in Asia, growth in the number of young people, rapid obsolescence of products resulting from technological innovation and changes in fashion, and illegal global waste trade are among the factors driving growth.
\"Asian consumers are now changing electronics more often.
In addition, many products are designed for low-cost production, but not necessarily for repair, renovation or easy recycling . \"
It urged governments to enact specific laws governing electronic waste or to strictly enforce existing legislation.
Only South Korea, Taiwan and Japan have long established recycling systems under the laws introduced in the 1990 s.
Open dumping of leadand mercury-
In most countries such as Indonesia, Thailand and Cambodia, the operation of loading parts, burning plastic in the open air to release the parcel of copper and mining precious metals in unsafe backyard is the norm, this also lacks laws to deal with electronic and electrical waste.
The study says open-air incineration and unsafe recycling are linked to a range of health issues in workers and communities near recycling operations, these problems include infertility, developmental problems in children, impaired lung function, genetic impairment of liver and kidney function, and mental health problems.
The recyclers in the backyard mainly recover gold, silver, palladium and copper from the printed circuit board, but the crude acid bath extraction process releases toxic smoke, and the efficiency is also very low, only recovering a part of the valuable material.
Asia as a whole is the largest market for electronics and electrical appliances, accounting for nearly half of global sales and producing the most waste.
Guiyu, a heavy-
China\'s heavily polluted rural town, which specializes in dismantling consumer electronics, some of which are exported from rich countries, has become synonymous with a one-time high price. tech world.
China has cleared Guiyu and other similar centers, but the Basel network of operations, which has brought Guiyu to international attention, said that most of Guiyu\'s dangerous behavior continues, although concentrated in a new industrial park in the suburbs.
Ruediger Kuehr, one of the authors of the study, said that the amount of waste generated was higher than the government\'s estimate, in part because their definition was narrower and should be a wake-up call
Calls to policy makers and consumers.
\"To some extent, we all benefit from the luxury of these electrical and electronic products, which makes our lives easier and sometimes more complex,\" he said . \".
\"However, if we want to continue to do so, we have to reuse the resources contained in the electronic and electrical devices.
\"Smartphones, for example, use more than half of the elements in the periodic table, some of which are very rare, for a longer period of time
Kuehr says running will run out without recycling.
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