Electronic Waste: Causes And Consequences (Part II)

In the previous post we spoke about:

Electronic Waste.
  1. What’s the technological waste
  2. Causes of technological waste
  3. Main consequences of technological waste

2. Causes of technological waste

Poor waste management

Finally, the last cause of the generation of technological waste is found in the bad management of this type of waste.

Despite the irresponsible practices that have been mentioned, we cannot ignore the fact that technological artifacts end up breaking down.

Even after several repairs, there may be a situation in which, effectively, technological equipment can no longer be useful.

In this case, the right thing to do is to take the equipment to a clean point where it can be managed as waste in the right way.

This will involve recycling most of its components and, above all, removing in a controlled way those elements that could be dangerous for the environment and for health and managing them in the right way.

3. Main consequences of technological waste

Electronic Waste.

The consequences of technological or electronic waste are varied and affect many different sectors.

However, below we present some of the direct consequences of the uncontrolled accumulation of this waste and also some of those that require more attention due to the problem, not only environmental, but also social.

Release of heavy metals into ecosystems

The most damaging consequence of the generation of untreated technological waste is the release of heavy metals and highly polluting elements into the environment.

Some of these elements are mercury, lead, chromium, aluminium or cadmium among others, which, in contact with living organisms, lead to very serious diseases or even death.

Soil, water and air pollution

Another consequence of the generation of this technological waste is that the pollution extends to the earth and water, as well as to the air, since, when the equipment is burned, it releases many of the heavy metals already mentioned in the form of extremely toxic gases.

In connection with the release of such metals in any of the above media, these heavy metals enter the organism of living beings and cannot be eliminated.

This is because they are metals that are not naturally present in ecosystems, so living organisms have not evolved to expel them.

In fact, these heavy metals, once they enter the body of a living organism, will remain within it for the rest of its life.

In the case of humans, some of the diseases that are related to this type of metals toxic to health are:

Electronic Waste Causes And Consequences (Part II)
Electronic Waste.
  • Alzheimer’s and degenerative diseases of the nervous system
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Heart disease
  • Dermatitis
  • Anemia
  • Asthma and respiratory tract irritation
  • Arthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Diseases in the endocrine system
  • Impotence
  • Malformations in the fetus during pregnancy
  • Kidney failure
  • Liver problems and even cancer.

Technological landfills

Likewise, another of the problems involved in the enormous generation of technological waste lies in the inability to manage this waste.

The consequence is that this rubbish accumulates in technological dumps which, in addition to polluting the local area, entails the risk of widening its pollution radius in the event of a fire and the toxic elements entering the air.

Exploitation of disadvantaged communities and people

Electronic Waste Causes And Consequences (Part II)
Electronic Waste.

Finally, another of the consequences of the generation of technological waste and the bad management of this type of waste is that there are activities that involve communities and people from disadvantaged environments.

On the one hand, it must be taken into account that the extraction of many of the metals used in the production of technological devices takes place in countries where labor legislation does not protect the worker (a good example is many countries in Africa).

As a result, a sector arises which, although it generates work, this is carried out in dire conditions and without any type of safety in the mines.

This means that many people who work in these conditions end up getting sick as a result of direct contact with this type of metal.

If you want to read more articles related to technology, we recommend that you enter our Tech category.