Exporting Harm is a rather disquieting report on how we in the West are exporting e-waste (the remnants of our consumer tech obsession) to the developing world, often under the guise of ‘recycling’. Not pleasant reading, especially for a weblog like the Ferret which must take some responsibility for encouraging the proliferation of the problem. Maybe those of us involved should start asking more penetrating questions of the manufacturers and governments before this becomes an even more serious issue?
Electronic waste or E-waste is the most rapidly growing waste problem in the world. It is a crisis not only of quantity but also a crisis born from toxic ingredients _ such as the lead, beryllium, mercury, cadmium, and brominated- flame retardants that pose both an occupational and environmental health threat…Indeed, informed recycling industry sources estimate that between 50 to 80 percent of the E-waste collected for recycling in the western U.S. are not recycled domestically, but is very quickly placed on container ships bound for destinations like China.