Dangers of electronic waste

Electronic waste is any type of electrical and electronic equipment that has been discarded by the owner without the desire to reuse. Electronic waste can be categorized by product type, product size, or processing technology. Waste Agency Electrical and Electronic Equipment The European Union categorizes electronic waste into 6 main categories based on its processing orientation. The six categories include refrigeration equipment (refrigerators, air conditioners, freezers, etc.), screens (TVs, monitors, laptops, etc.), small appliances (vacuum cleaners, microwaves, cameras, etc.), lamps (LED lights, fluorescent lamps, etc.) , telecommunications and IT equipment (GPS, telephone, calculator, etc.), as well as large equipment (washing machines, printing machines, etc.).

Electronic waste becomes a problem for all countries in Asia. Asia becomes the highest continent of electronic waste generated by the amount of electronic waste generated in 2016 reaching 16 million tons or 3.7 kg per capita population. This figure is equivalent to about 3 times the weight of the Giza Pyramid in Egypt. While globally, as reported by Forbes, electronic waste is expected to continue to increase to 49.8 million tons in 2018, with a growth rate of 4-5%.

Increasing the amount of electronic waste is also experienced in Indonesia. Based on data from UN Environment Japan, in 2015, electronic waste generated by Indonesia reached 812 million tons per year, with growth between 2010-2015, which was 68.1%. Unfortunately, the increasing number of electronic garbage in Indonesia has not been accompanied by adequate management. Until now, Indonesia does not have a regulation on e-waste. In addition, there is no technique to recycle standardized electronic waste to prevent dangerous material from entering the environment or disrupting health.

Based on Greenpeace’s search, electronic waste generated in Indonesia is generally sold to the market of second-hand goods or disposed of directly to the trash. Electronic waste that will be sold later will end in Batam, Jakarta, and Surabaya. While electronic waste that is disposed of directly will generally end up in landfills or burned. Whereas electronic waste contains a variety of heavy metals that are dangerous if burned.

Heavy metals contained in electronic waste, ie mercury, cadmium, arsenic, copper, and so forth. Arsenic can be found in transistors or semiconductors and is at risk of causing metabolic disorders to cause poisoning which can lead to death. While cadmium is found as a metal coating material and battery raw material. Cadmium if exposed to be irritating, in the long run, can cause poisoning effects and disorders of the organ system.

Have you ever heard of PCB assembly service? In addition to heavy metals, electronic waste also contains organohalogen compounds such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). PCBs are compounds that are widely used in plastic materials, adhesives, transformers, and other electronic equipment. PCBs have a tough biodegradable nature in the environment as well as easily accumulate in human and animal fat tissue. This accumulation will disturb the digestive system and is carcinogenic. That’s exactly why PCB assembly is not something to underestimate.

It is also disclosed by Shunichi Honda, Program Officer at UN Environment Japan, “Manual electronic waste processing processes in several countries in Asia and Africa are harmful to human health and the environment, ie by open burning, incineration without the use of protective equipment, open dumping “