Uncontrolled e-waste treatment produces carcinogenic effects

Most e-waste does not get disposed of properly, ending up in developing countries

By Aditya Misra
Published: Friday 22 August 2014

Improper disposal of e-waste releases brominated pollutants which are carcinogenic (file photo)

A study on thermal decomposition of waste from electrical and electronic equipment has found that most of the e-waste generated around the world does not get treated properly and ends up in developing countries where it mostly gets burned.

This results in production of brominated pollutants which have carcinogenic effects.

Proper disposal of waste from electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) includes a visit to reuse and recycle treatment plants and destruction of parts which release carcinogenic products in thermal systems under controlled environment.

The four-year-long study aimed to study effect of presence of metals during WEE treatment and found that amount of brominated pollutants increases enormously in the presence of metals.

The problem of e-waste is getting increasingly severe across the world. According to a report published in phys.org, 9.9 million tonnes of WEEE was generated in Europe in 2012.
The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Alicante, Spain.

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