E-Waste Accumulation Becomes A Serious Health Hazard

by Dr. Sunil Shroff on  March 14, 2008 at 4:02 PM News on IT in Healthcare   - G J E 4
E-Waste Accumulation Becomes A Serious Health Hazard
Based on a survey conducted under the guidance of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) it has been estimated that about 1,46,000 tons of waste from electrical and electronic equipment [WEEE] is generated annually in the country.

According to WEEE Directives of the European Union (EU), waste electrical or electronic equipments, which include all components consumables etc. after use are to be disposed off as per the provisions of their National Law enforced. Further, EU directives focus on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipments, which has come into force with effect from January 2007. These directives provide for the reduction and elimination of hazardous substances used in electrical and electronic equipments.

The Ministry of Environment and Forests have notified the Hazardous Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1989 as amended in 2003 which regulate the generation, collection, storage, treatment, disposal as well as export and import of hazardous wastes, which include e-waste.

The processes generating hazardous wastes are listed in Schedule 1 of these rules. The residues and wastes generated from the operations in electronic industry are already considered as hazardous wastes and are included at S.No.31 of Schedule 1 of these rules. Further, the import and export of e-waste is also regulated under Schedule 3 of these rules.

As per the provisions of these rules, the import of e-waste is regulated under Schedule 3 of these rules wherein Electrical and Electronic Assemblies are covered under category A 1180 in the list A and B 1110 in list B of the Schedule 3. The import of such waste is permitted only for direct reuse and not for recycling of final disposal.

The Ministry of Environment and Forests had also constituted a Task Force to finalise the Guidelines for Environmentally Sound Management of E-waste for the State Pollution Control Boards and Pollution Control Committees of the Union Territories and the industries for handling e-waste. Guidelines have since been finalised for the Environmentally Sound Management of E-waste.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Environment and Forests Shri Namo Narain Meena, in a written reply to a question by Shri B. J. Panda and Ms Pramila Bohidar in the Rajya Sabha today.

Source: PIB

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