Science

Gadget Waste Threatens Health And Environment In Asia

By Duna Bil , Jan 16, 2017 04:19 AM EST
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Asia is fast becoming a colossal pile of gadget waste, threatening the quality of health and environment. This is the finding of a new study that focuses on the current status of electronic wastes that Asian countries incur. Ruediger Kuehr, one of the researchers of the study, stresses that the governments have underestimated the amount of electronic waste being generated due to limited definition, and that both leaders and consumers should now be more vigilant of this issue.

Asia is the largest manufacturer and market of electronics and appliances, accounting for half of worldwide sales. It's no wonder that it also produces the most waste. The mass consumption of gadgets have inadvertently resulted to the burning and unsafe recycling of old or defective ones. This practice have led to a horde of acute and chronic illnesses such as kidney and liver damage, inheritable liver problems, respiratory diseases, childhood development disorders, mental health illnesses, and infertility.

The skyrocketing gadget waste is mainly caused by China with its waste reported to be more than doubling. As part of its recent health reform act, China have pledged to reduce pollution in major metropolitan areas in hope to increase quality health of the people. So far, only Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea have established recycling systems to manage electronic wastes.

According to the Yahoo news, other Asian countries have also been found to have massive increase of wastes from 2010 to 2015. All in all, wastes from 12 Asian countries have spiked by two-thirds on average in five years.A total of 12.3 million tons of waste have been recorded in 2015 alone.

Reasons for the problem include burgeoning population of young adults, fast obsolescence of gadgets due to rapid changes in trend, and illegal global waste trading. People frequently buy new gadgets and appliances but governments lack the policies to properly control its waste. According to the US News, the study recommends that Asian governments enact specific laws to manage gadget waste or implement rigorously existing legislations to safeguard both public health and the environment.

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