New studies by IPEN and the Basel Action Network (BAN) reveal how weak controls in international treaties allow developed countries to export e-waste to developing countries, leading to dangerous levels of POPs exposure, and resulting in food chain contamination. The key findings of this report are:
Incineration of medical waste and open burning of waste – including electronic waste – are potentially large sources of toxic chemicals known as persistent organic pollutants (POPs). These substances are slated for global reduction and elimination under the Stockholm Convention.
(Prague, Brussels): The European Parliament and Council decision on the reform of the persistent organic pollutants (POPs) announced this week, hailed as protective for health, will cause more children to be exposed to hazardous flame-retardant chemicals associated with thyroid disruption and neurological deficits. The decision permits high levels of hazardous brominated flame retardants (PBDEs) that are in electronics waste, including those already banned by the Stockholm Convention, to be allowed in recycled plastics.
Authorities in Thailand say their country is becoming the new dumping ground for the world's illegal electronic waste.
"It could be the cause of different kinds of cancer diseases. And a in situation like this, the chemical smell could cause damage to the respiratory systems of the people," said Penchom Saetang, Director of EARTH.