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A Toxics-Free Future

electronic waste

The Guardian

Toxins from old computers, fridges and other electronic goods are polluting chicken eggs in an area where 80,000 people live.

Some of the most hazardous chemicals on Earth are entering the food chain in Ghana from illegally disposed electronic waste coming from Europe.

Basel COP14

Norwegian Proposal to Amend the Annexes to the Basel Convention (español / English / français / العربية )

For the Basel COP14, Norway proposed amendments to the annexes to the Basel Convention to bring problematic plastic waste streams within the scope and control of the Convention.

IPEN and BAN call for stronger controls in upcoming Conference to the Parties of the Basel and Stockholm Conventions

(Göteborg, Sweden): New research from IPEN and Basel Action Network (BAN) reveals dire human exposures and food chain contamination from highly toxic plastics in waste in Ghana that includes toxic e-waste shipped from Europe. Researchers have found the highest levels of brominated and chlorinated dioxins— some of the most hazardous chemicals on Earth— ever measured­­­­ in free-range chicken eggs in Agbogbloshie, Ghana. The contamination results primarily from the breaking apart of discarded electronics (e-waste) and burning plastics to recover metals. Plastics from vehicle upholstery are also burned on the site and contribute to the contamination.

Researchers analyzed the eggs of free-range chickens that forage in the Agbogbloshie slum, home to an estimated 80,000 people who subsist primarily by retrieving and selling copper cable and other metals from e-waste. The process of smashing and burning the plastic casing and cables, to extract the metals, releases dangerous chemicals found within the plastics, such as brominated flame retardants, and creates highly toxic by-product chemicals like brominated and chlorinated dioxins and furans. The sampling of eggs revealed alarmingly high levels of some of the most hazardous and banned chemicals in the world, including dioxins, brominated dioxins, PCBs, PBDE and SCCPs.

https://resource-recycling.com/e-scrap/2018/09/13/industry-groups-eu-regulation-would-end-e-plastics-recycling/

A draft European Union law limits traces of a flame retardant in products to such a low level that it would effectively kill e-plastics recycling on the continent, two industry groups said.

Photo credit: FSCI, Tajikistan

The most recent IPEN Global Newsletter, presenting information from January - July, 2018, focuses on electronics and chemicals. The newsletter opens with a message from IPEN's Senior Science and Technical Advisor, who reminds us that electronics production is chemically intensive, using more than a thousand chemicals and other materials (many of which are hazardous). This causes harm to workers and communities in production, exposes consumers to toxic chemicals during use, and releases toxics chemcials when products become e-waste or when plastics used in electronics are recycled into new products

 

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