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E-waste

Updated on January 2, 2010

E-waste

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E-waste

Think back for a minute at the procession of computers, TVs, Cell phones, Radios, Game consoles and Music players that have passed through your hands over the years.What about the endless stream of products such as Vacuum cleaners, Microwave, Clocks, Refrigerators, Lamps that have come in and out of your life?

These are just a few examples of devices that are part of the growing phenomenon known as E-waste. E-waste is the term used to describe discarded electronics and electrical products. In the past few decades, the world’s demand for gadgetry had gone through the roof and inevitably more waste has started to accumulate. As the bustling economies of China and India modernize and follow more Western trends, the worldwide generation of E- waste has hit astronomical proportions.

So what happens to the entire E – waste?

E-waste contains a bonanza of toxic and hazardous components that, for the most part are currently been shunted into the landfills, much of the remaining portion is exported to developing nations, where many laborers working under unsafe, unregulated conditions recycle this
E –waste. The work these laborers do, while it does provide some raw materials that can be reused, comes with some serious consequences.

At present, we are just beginning to realize how serious those consequences are. Long term exposure to small doses of toxins is less understood than the effect of those toxins in larger doses. In all likelihood, it is dangerous to spend your days touching fragments of toxic metals like lead and mercury. Common sense implies that inhaling the fumes from flame- retardant chemicals and highly corrosive acids isn’t a good idea and dumping by-products of this recycling process into the drinking- water source can’t be good for anyone.

The upshot is people have began taking notice of these conditions and several initiatives to protect the environment and human health have gained traction recently. Government from around the world are passing regulations to curtail E – waste and an increase number of industrial improvement pop up every day but Nigeria has become a good market for E- waste. People from all over the world and Nigerians at large send 40% of the world E-waste to Nigeria. 50% of all the containers cleared in the Nigerian Ports contain imported used TVs and PC monitors. Most of which will be sent to the local dump from where they will be scavenged for recycling then burned.

These recycling are done below standard measures. Folks who expose themselves daily to most of the chemical compounds in all these products are at a high health risk, these products contain:
Arsenic: This may disrupt cell communication.
Cadmium: This affects your body’s ability to metabolize calcium.
Chromium: This causes chronic skin irritation (Akpirikpa)
Copper: This cause throat and lungs irritations. Etc.

I came up with this article because of a particular mail i received from someone who claimed to be an entity of the Federal government of Nigeria. Whoever you are, it is not just about Biafra and i have the right to express my viewes about anything wherever and however i feel morally compelled to do it so this goes to you and to whoever you are representing.

"You guys are not doing anything to propel Nigeria into the modern world vision. Your vision of re branding should compromise with the safety of your people and as the entire world is envisaging on going GREEN, I wish to advice the Federal government of Nigeria about the need for a proper regulation to curb the menace of E-waste in the country."

I quote:
"The Federal Government need to set up standard E-waste recycling centers in the entire country and an adequate control over the importation of all these E-waste products has to be set as well."

Many will argue and disagree with me if i say a" BAN ON THE IMPORTATION OF ALL THESE USED PRODUCTS" but it is a free world and i have the right to freedom of expression so i just aired my views. Do not criticize me but bring up a solution.

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