Global occurrence, chemical properties, and ecological impacts of e-wastes

Authors: Diana Purchase + 22 other authors
Location: Pure and Applied Chemistry 2020, 92 (11), 1733; https://doi.org/10.1515/pac-2019-0502
Publication year: 2020
Pages: 34
Document association: International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC)
Level: GC

Abstract: The waste stream of obsolete electronic equipment grows exponentially, creating a worldwide pollution and resource problem. Electrical and electronic waste (e-waste) comprises a heterogeneous mix of glass, plastics (including flame retardants and other additives), metals (including rare Earth elements), and metalloids. The e-waste issue is complex and multi-faceted. In examining the different aspects of e-waste, informal recycling in developing countries has been identified as a primary concern, due to widespread illegal shipments; weak environmental, as well as health and safety, regulations; lack of technology; and inadequate waste treatment structure. For example, Nigeria, Ghana, India, Pakistan, and China have all been identified as hotspots for the disposal of e-waste. This article presents a critical examination on the chemical nature of e-waste and the resulting environmental impacts on, for example, microbial biodiversity, flora, and fauna in e-waste recycling sites around the world. It highlights the different types of risk assessment approaches required when evaluating the ecological impact of e-waste. Additionally, it presents examples of chemistry playing a role in potential solutions. The information presented here will be informative to relevant stakeholders seeking to devise integrated management strategies to tackle this global environmental concern.
Keywords: chemical compositionecological assessmentenvironmental impactse-wasterecycling

 

The global impact of e-waste: Addressing the challenge

Author: Karin Lundgren
Location: https://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/—ed_dialogue/—sector/documents/publication/wcms_196105.pdf
Publication year: 2012
Pages: 71
Document association: International Labour Organization (ILO)
Level: GC

Preface: From the preface of the report, the following paragraphs have been extracted.Electrical and electronic waste (e-waste) is currently the largest growing waste stream. It is hazardous, complex and expensive to treat in an environmentally sound manner, and there is a general lack of legislation or enforcement surrounding it. Today, most e-waste is being discarded in the general waste stream.
Of the e-waste in developed countries that is sent for recycling, 80 per cent ends up being shipped (often illegally) to developing countries to be recycled by hundreds of thousands of informal workers.
Such globalization of e-waste has adverse environmental and health implications. This paper explores the volumes, sources, and flows of e-waste, the risks it poses to e-waste workers and the environment, occupational safety and health issues, labour issues and regulatory frameworks, and links this growing global problem with the International Labour Organization’s current and future work.
Keywords: e-waste trade; transportation of e-waste; risk to human health; environmental impact; chemical components; regulatory framework; international conventions; informal recycling; labour conditions

 

Children and digital dumpsites; E-waste exposure and child health

Location: https://iris.who.int/bitstream/handle/10665/341718/9789240023901-eng.pdf
Publisher: World Health Organization (WHO)
Pages: 110
Publication year: 2021
Level: HS

Abstract: This report summarizes the latest scientific knowledge on the links between informal e-waste recycling and health outcomes in children. As many as 18 million children and adolescents and 12.9 million women, including an unknown number of women of childbearing age, may be at risk from adverse health outcomes linked to e-waste recycling. The report is intended to increase awareness and knowledge among health professionals of the dangers that e-waste recycling poses to the health of future generations and is a call to action to reduce children’s exposure to harmful e-waste activities.
Keywords: chemical composition; exposure pathways; impact; mitigation, way forward

 


REPORTS FROM GESP

The Global E-waste Statistics Partnership has for years published series of e-waste reports with a global, regional, or national perspective. The reason for these multiple perspectives is the thinking outlined on the GESP homepage (https://ewastemonitor.info): “The development of a recycling infrastructure, sound policies, and legal instruments are more efficiently implemented on the basis of sound e-waste data. Without a global, regional and national picture of e-waste, the true nature of e-waste challenge incl. collection and recycling rates, national and regional countermeasures, but also transboundary movements and, in some cases, illegal shipments will also be incomprehensible.” More specifically, the reports are published in five series, viz. Global Transboundary E-waste Flow, Global E-waste Monitor, Regional E-waste Monitor, National E-waste Monitor, and Special E-waste Reports. Some of the reports are highlighted in the following. Some specific examples are given below.

 

Global Transboundary E-waste Flows Monitor – 2022

Authors: C.P. Baldé, E. D’Angelo, V. Luda O. Deubzer, and R. Kuehr
Location: https://api.globalewaste.org/publications/file/286/Global-Transboundary-E-waste-Flows-Monitor-2022.pdf
Publication year: 2022
Pages: 66
Document association: The Global E-waste Statistics Partnership (GESP)
Keywords: global e-waste flows of transboundary movements; global import and export hotspots; regional overviews of e-waste; printed circuit board waste
Level: HS

 

The Global E-waste Monitor 2020

Authors: Forti, V.; Baldé, C. P.; Kuehr, R.; Bel, G.
Location: https://ewastemonitor.info/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/GEM_2020_def_july1_low.pdf
Publication year: 2020
Pages: 119
Document association: The Global E-waste Statistics Partnership (GESP)
Keywords: eee and e-waste; e-waste and SDGs; e-waste key statistics; transboundary movement of e-waste; e-waste legislation; e-waste in circular economy; health impact; regional trends
Level: GC

 

Regional E-waste Monitor for Latin-America 2022

Authors: M. Wagner, C.P. Baldé, V. Luda, I. C Nnorom, R. Kuehr, G. Iattoni
Location: https://api.globalewaste.org/publications/file/284/Regional-E-waste-Monitor-for-Latin-America-2022.pdf
Publication year: 2022
Pages: 274
Document association: The Global E-waste Statistics Partnership (GESP)
Keywords: e-waste plastics; e-waste and POPs; e-waste key statistics; transboundary movement of e-waste; e-waste legislation; e-waste profile of the Latin-American countries
Level: HS

 

National E-waste Monitor for Lebanon 2022

Authors: Baldé C.P., Panchal R., Forti V.
Location: https://api.globalewaste.org/publications/file/285/Lebanese-National-E-waste-Monitor-2022.pdf
Publication year: 2022
Pages: 49
Document association: The Global E-waste Statistics Partnership (GESP)
Keywords: eee POM; e-waste generation; e-waste key statistics; e-waste mass flow; hazardous and valuable materials
Level: HS

 

Policy practices for e-waste management

Team: Nienke Haccoû (design); Nick Easen (drafting)
Location: https://api.globalewaste.org/publications/file/278/Policy-practices-for-e-waste-management.pdf
Publication year: 2021
Pages: 47
Document association: The Global E-waste Statistics Partnership (GESP)
Keywords: tools for fair and economically viable extended producer responsibility; interactive pdf
Level: HS

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