A Comparative Analysis on Electronic Waste Management Practices in India: Environmental and Health Problems | Original Article
Electronic waste or e-waste is one of the rapidly growing problems of the world. E-waste comprises of a multitude of components, some containing toxic substances that can have an adverse impact on human health and the environment if not handled properly. In India, e-waste management assumes greater significance not only due to the generation of its own e-waste but also because of the dumping of e-waste from developed countries. This is coupled with India's lack of appropriate infrastructure and procedures for its disposal and recycling. Putting the onus of recycling of electronic wastes (e-waste) on the producers, the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) has for the first time notified e-waste management rules (2011). This review article provides the associated issues and impact of this emerging problem, in the light of initiatives in India. There is a lack of consensus as to whether the term should apply to resale, reuse, and refurbishing industries, or only to product that cannot be used for its intended purpose. Informal processing of electronic waste in developing countries may cause serious health and pollution problems, though these countries are also most likely to reuse and repair electronics. Some electronic scrap components, Such as CRTs (Cathode Ray Tubes), may contain contaminants such as lead, cadmium, beryllium, or brominated flame retardants. Even in developed countries recycling and disposal of e-waste may involve significant risk to workers and communities and great care must be taken to avoid unsafe exposure in recycling operations and leaching of material such as heavy metals from landfills and incinerator ashes. The austere problem of E-waste along with its policy level implications is looked upon in the paper. During the course of the study it has been found that there is an urgent need to address the issues related to Ewaste in India in order to avoid its detrimental future consequences. We reviewed current evidence regarding the recycling conditions in communities of developing countries, and identified major environmental toxicants relevant to community exposure.