USA, Europe & Asia
Many states have introduced
recycling and reuse of
computers or computer parts
or other electronics.
There are also separate laws
South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan
require that sellers and
manufacturers of electronics be
responsible for recycling 75% of
There are Toxic Chemicals which
have to be disposed of and are
being exposed to people which can
In Switzerland, the first electronic
waste recycling system was
introduced in 1991, it started off
with old refrigerators; all the other
electronic devices were added onto
the system later on
Predictions say that across the
waste will rise 2.5 to 2.7%
from 10.3 million
generated in 2005 to roughly 12.3
per year by 2020.
Substances found in large quantities include epoxy resins,
fiberglass, PCB’s, PVC (polyvinyl chlorides),
thermosetting plastics, lead, tin, copper, silicon,
beryllium, carbon, iron and
Elements found in small amounts include cadmium,
mercury, and thallium.
Elements found in trace amounts include americium,
antimony, arsenic, barium, bismuth, boron, cobalt,
europium, gallium, germanium, gold, indium, lithium,
manganese, nickel, niobium, palladium, platinum,
rhodium, ruthenium, selenium, silver, tantalum, terbium,
thorium, titanium, vanadium, and yttrium.
: the radioactive source in smoke alarms. It is known to be carcinogenic.
: found in fluorescent tubes, tilt switches, and flat screen monitors. Health effects
include sensory impairment, dermatitis, memory loss, and muscle weakness. Environmental
effects in animals include death, reduced fertility, slower growth and development.
: found in lead
acid batteries. Health effects include liver damage, kidney damage,
heart damage, eye and throat irritation. When released in to the environment, it can create
: Used as flame retardants in plastics in most electronics. Includes PBB’s, PBDE,
. Health effects include impaired development of the nervous
system, thyroid problems, liver problems. Environmental effects: similar effects as in animals
as humans. PBBs were banned from 1973
1977 on. PCBs were banned during the 1980's.
: Found in light
sensitive resistors, corrosion
resistant alloys for marine and aviation
environments, and nickel
cadmium batteries. The most common form of cadmium is found in
cadmium rechargeable batteries. These batteries tend to contain between 6
cadmium. The sale of Nickel
Cadmium batteries has been banned in the European Union
except for medical use. When not properly recycled it can leach into the soil, harming
microorganisms and disrupting the soil ecosystem. Exposure is caused by proximity to
hazardous waste sites and factories and workers in the metal refining industry. The inhalation
of cadmium can cause severe damage to the lungs and is also known to cause kidney damage.
: solder, CRT monitor glass, lead acid batteries, some formulations of PVC. A typical 15
inch cathode ray tube may contain 1.5 pounds of lead, but other CRTs have been estimated as
having up to 8 pounds of lead.
: filler in some thermal interface materials such as thermal grease used on
for CPU’s and power transistors, magnetrons, X
transparent ceramic windows,
heat transfer fins in vacuum tubes, and gas lasers.
INFO OBTAINED FROM WIKIPEDIA