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Trends of electronic waste pollution and its impact on the global environment and ecosystem

Abstract

Electronic waste (e-waste) is used for all electronic/electrical devices which are no more used. Conventionally, waste management policies are desfig

handle the traditional waste. Although e-waste contains toxic materials, however, its management is rarely focused by policy makers; therefore, its negative impact on the global environment, ecosystem, and human health is aggravated. The review outlines the categories of e-waste materials, major pollutants including ferrous/non-ferrous metals, plastics, glass, printed circuit boards, cement, ceramic, and rubber beside, some valuable metals (such as copper, silver, gold, platinum). Toxic elements from e-waste materials, released in the air, water, and soil, include arsenic, cadmium, chromium, mercury, and lead, causing pollution. Although their roles in biological systems are poorly identified, however, they possess significant toxic and carcinogenic potential. It is therefore critical to monitor footprint and device strategies to address e-waste-linked issues from manufacturing, exportation, to ultimate dumping, including technology transmissions for its recycling. This review traces a plausible link among e-waste condition at a worldwide dimension, as far as settlement procedures to keep it secure and carefully monitored when traded. Their fate in the three spheres of the earth, i.e., water, soil, and air, impacts human health. The strategies and regulation to handle e-waste generation at the global level have been discussed.

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Funding

The corresponding author (Wajid Nasim) is grateful to the Higher Education Commission (HEC) for the research project (NRPU 3393) and highly acknowledged for funding to carry out the research work.

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Akram, R., Natasha, Fahad, S. et al. Trends of electronic waste pollution and its impact on the global environment and ecosystem. Environ Sci Pollut Res 26, 16923–16938 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-019-04998-2

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Keywords

  • E-waste
  • Toxic waste
  • Heavy metals
  • Human health
  • Global environment
  • Ecosystem
  • Contamination