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enviroblog

Environmental connections to public health >>

Toxic Trash

Monday, October 24, 2005

Feeling good about donating your old computer for use by someone in another country? Then don't read Laurie J. Flynn's New York Times story about the finding that many of those donated electronics end up creating pollution, not opportunities, for people in developing nations.

Flynn writes, "An average computer monitor can contain as much as eight pounds of lead, along with plastics laden with flame retardants and cadmium, all of which can be harmful to the environment and to humans."

The donated equipment is broken down and sorted under conditions that expose the workers to toxins, and then most of it ends up in landfills because it's beyond repair.

If you want to dispose of old electronics according to U.S. standards, please visit http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/hazwaste/recycle/ecycling/live.htm.

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