Recycling of e-waste has resulted in the release of toxic chemicals, including heavy metals, in the surrounding areas of recycling yards yielding reason for concern in India and China.
What is all the more alarming is that toxic chemicals are released during each stage of the recycling process into the workplace and in many cases into the surrounding environment.
Concentrations of lead in dust samples collected from some workshops in China were hundreds of times higher than typical levels of household dust. The levels of lead in dust collected from similar Indian workshops were approximately five to 20 times more than the average levels.
The report provides a compelling case for immediate action in both countries to address workplace health and safety issues, as well as waste management practices and reinforces the need for the electronics industry to eliminate the use of harmful substances in their products.