TCE is dedicated to informing and mobilizing Texans to protect the quality of their lives, their health, their communities and the environment. We believe that people have a right to know and a right to act on issues that fundamentally affect their lives and future generations.
E-Waste is Toxic Waste Electronic contain an array of toxic materials, including lead, mercury and PCB-like brominated flame retardants, among others. An old-style TV or computer monitor contains at least 4 pounds of lead, and flat panels contain mercury bulbs. The toxic flame-retardants (which cause cancer and birth defects in animal studies) are showing up in mother's milk sample taken in Texas and in meat and dairy products in Texas supermarkets.
Worldwide Contamination Unfortunately, many companies that claim to be recycling e-waste are actually exporting the toxic material to be dumped in developing nations overseas. This "sham recycling" is widespread and laregly unregulated. The toxins in our obsolete electronics are contaminating entire villages across the world, and e-waste exported to China appears to be a source of the lead in contaminated children's jewlery being imported into the US! TCE is pressuring federal lawmakers and electronics manufacturers to end this shameful practice -
Chemicals in electronics are in our bodies
Scientists are finding higher and higher levels of flame retardants used in electronics and other products in the bodies of Americans and in fish in our lakes and bays – and even in polar bears.
These chemicals – brominated flame retardants or BFRs - are a family of chemicals, similar to now-banned polychlorinated biphenyls, which are widely used as fire retardants in consumer products. In animal studies of BFRs, there are similar impacts to PCBs. Testing of animals has shown the following impacts:
- reproductive disorders
- endocrine and hormone problems
- nervous system disorders
Electronics producers are beginning to respond to direct pressure and legislative efforts to rid their products of these chemicals.
Why are Mercury Emissions from Municipal Landfills a Potential Problem?
Mercury is a potent neurotoxin that can affect the brain, liver and kidneys, and cause developmental disorders in children. Young children and developing fetuses are especially at risk.
Mercury is found in a variety of products, such as fluorescent and other lights, batteries, electrical switches and relays, barometers, and thermometers, much of which ends up in municipal landfills. The mercury contained in these products can evaporate into the air or leach into the groundwater from the landfills. Researchers are just beginning to quantify and understand how much mercury is emitted to the atmosphere from landfills, and the data suggest that potentially important losses are occurring.
Mercury leaching from landfills into groundwater has been studied more than air emissions. Available data show that mercury in groundwater can exceed drinking water standards from older, unlined landfills, but is less likely to leach into groundwater from landfills that are lined and use leachate collection systems. Depending on how the leachate is treated, however, mercury collected in leachate systems may reenter the environment.
For more info on TCE
Jeffrey Jacoby Program Director email@example.com http://www.texasenvironment.org