Risk of pollution from electronic waste

In the 4.0 era, the number of electronic devices will continuously increase. However, the environmental and health effects caused by this type of waste are warned to be extremely dangerous.

Bad habits still exist

In most families today, the number of devices with batteries and electronic devices is increasing rapidly. This means that discarded electronic waste will continuously arise. However, the situation of people arbitrarily dismantling materials to sell for scrap, junk, and gathering them at improper collection points still exists. This is a very bad habit.

Health experts warn that most electronic devices contain highly toxic elements such as lead, mercury, cadmium, barium, flame retardants… When decomposed, electronic waste will release metals. Toxic heavy types easily seep into the natural environment, affecting plants in the area, thereby entering the food supply of both plants and animals.

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Regarding health, these toxins have the risk of causing birth defects in children and causing adults to suffer from many health complications when consuming water, food, and breathing polluted air. Among them, the most common diseases are skin diseases, damage to the eyes, brain, kidneys, liver… even cancer and death.

Worryingly, statistics show that the amount of electronic waste generated in 2019 was about 257,000 tons, the rate of waste generated per capita was 2.7kg/person. However, only about 17% of this waste is collected and treated properly, the rest is not managed properly, causing major consequences for the environment and human health.

Which management solution?

In terms of State management, there needs to be a more effective electronic waste collection network, implemented by specialized units. At the same time, it is necessary to move from scientific research to practical technical applications on an industrial scale in Vietnam.

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In addition, local authorities need to review recycling facilities that do not have operating licenses, thereby instructing them on timely licensing procedures, avoiding fines and stopping production and business activities. On the other hand, the waste electronic product recovery system must be built in accordance with legal regulations to trace the origin of electronic waste and save costs of collecting and transporting discarded products.

Currently, recycling and e-waste processing businesses around the world have to invest heavily in equipment and money to minimize contact between people and e-waste. Therefore, ministries and branches need to develop preferential policies in the recall and disposal of electronic products to solve livelihood problems and ensure that the environment is not harmed. In particular, preferential policies may include land use tax reduction and preferential loans. At the same time, agencies and organizations need to promote propaganda and raise people’s awareness of the risks of electronic waste to properly classify, collect and treat it.

According to Kinhtedothi.vn

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