Environmental health

Top Reasons Why We Should Properly Recycle E-Waste

By |2021-05-13T15:34:54+01:00December 14th, 2020|

We live in a “futuristic” digital era, driven by innovativeness and a forward-looking approach. Each day we witness the emergence of a new technology that discards the ideas from the past. This might seem fascinating but unknowingly, technology advancement is resulting into exponential amounts of electronic trash every year. As such, proper e-waste recycling has become more important than ever.

Should We Worry About E-Waste?

The answer is: yes. That is because we are gradually reaching up to the brim with e-waste.

According to a report published by the United Nations in 2019, named “A New Circular Vision for Electronics, Time for a Global Reboot,” people discards over 44 million tonnes worth of electronics every year, while only 20% are recycled in a sustainable manner.

Another study by the Global E-Waste Monitor reveals that in 2019, consumers discarded 53.6 million tonnes worth of electronics globally. This number is up by 20% in the last years. Even India is one of the biggest contributors to electronic waste, generating 3.2 million tonnes of e-waste in 2019. This made the country rank third after China and the United States.      

A joint report by ASSOCHAM-EY shows that India is estimated to generate 5 million tonnes of e-trash by 2021. The report further identified mobile phones and computer equipment to be the primary electronic waste generators in India.      

The statistics are shocking and clearly indicate why we should be more aware and responsible about proper e-waste recycling.  

Importance of E-Waste Management

Lack of proper measures to dispose and recycle e-waste may result in landfills, degrading soil quality and causing pollution. On the other hand, a major part of this e-waste is exported to the unregulated markets, mostly to Asia. These informal sectors collect electronic trash in bulk, retrieve a few metals from the same, and send the rest to the landfills.

To extract the metals from electronic waste, they use hazardous chemicals such as mercury that leach into the soil and damage it forever. This leaching of metals then cause pollution and even contaminate water in the oceans with liquid or gaseous toxins. A study conducted by the SRM University, Tamil Nadu, reveals shocking facts that the soil from “informal electronic recycling sites that recover metals” contain high levels of contamination across major cities like Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata.     

The rate at which electronic trash is impacting our environment and our lives, taking effective measures for e-waste recycling has become imperative today.

Top Reasons Why Proper E-Waste Recycling is Important

If the above statistics did not inspire you to recycle your e-waste, the below reasons will definitely do.

Here’s why you should make an honest effort to dispose your e-waste properly:

1. Electronic Waste Contains Hazardous Toxins

Imagine what could happen when batteries containing nickel, acid, mercury, lithium and lead get exposed in the nature. These are hazardous toxins that can wreak havoc on the environment. The harmful chemicals emitted from poorly disposed e-trash can contaminate the soil, air and water. Eventually, these pollutants may cause numerous health conditions such as reproductive and respiratory disorders, endocrine disruption and even cancer.

2. Prevent Landfills

Keeping electronic trash out of landfills is one of the major reasons why you should take e-waste recycling seriously. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, all electronic devices and household appliances are recyclable but they can also be most dangerous when dumped in landfills irresponsibly.

Plastic pollution along with glass and heavy metals in e-trash can seep into waterways or pollute the air, causing serious threat to the mankind and the environment at large. Effective e-waste recycling can lower harmful greenhouse gas emissions and prevent landfills.

3. E-Waste Contains Valuable Materials

Most consumers are not aware of the fact that electronic wastes comprise of precious materials, such as gold, silver, chromium, etc., used to manufacture the parts. Unfortunately, when e-waste is carelessly disposed of, much of these valuable metals are lost. Through proper e-waste recycling, these “waste” metals can be recovered, reused and resold.

This can reduce the demand for heavy-metal mining activities and help preserve our natural resources. Recycling can also help lower the greenhouse gas emissions caused due to manufacturing virgin materials.     

4. Recycling Can Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Do you know that recycling your e-waste can significantly reduce greenhouse gas levels in the environment? That is because when you recycle properly, the metals and other parts can be efficiently recovered and reused. Thus, there is lesser need to manufacture the items again and as such, helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Even manufacturers are encouraged and rewarded for manufacturing long-lasting, recyclable products.

5. Prevent Global Exploitation and Contamination    

“According to our research, #eWaste is becoming the world’s fastest-growing trash stream. A significant (but ultimately unquantified) portion of this e-waste is quietly exported, mostly to Asia.” Via @nytimes.

— UN University (@UNUniversity) July 9, 2018

This is the harsh reality when you do not take proper measures for e-waste recycling. The growing incidence of uncontrolled e-waste movement internationally is causing higher levels of contamination across the world. A major portion of this electronic trash is being moved to third-world countries where traditional disposal techniques are resulting in increased health risks.

When electronic trash is broken down to scrap, this can cause hazardous fumes and toxins that are released in the air and water.  

6. Minimise Identity Theft and Data Security Breaches

Irresponsibly discarding electronic devices like computers, mobile devices, etc. can result in data security breaches and identity theft. This is caused because mostly, we dispose electronics that are old but still functioning. If proper e-waste recycling measures are not followed, our personal information can be threatened.


E-waste recycling is a responsibility of everyone. The ramifications of electronic waste can be detrimental to the world. Still there is lack of awareness and negligence among people and businesses. As such, e-waste problem is growing at a rapid pace today.

We hope humans will be more responsible about proper e-waste disposal and recycling, making the world a better place to live in.  

The post Top Reasons Why We Should Properly Recycle E-Waste appeared first on Nature Talkies – We Talk about Nature.

Potentially Harmful Environmental Factors to Keep an Eye on

By |2021-05-13T15:35:02+01:00December 9th, 2020|

It is our collective and individual responsibility…to preserve and tend to the environment in which we all live” – Dalai Lama

There exists constant interactivity between humans and a wide range of environmental factors. These interactions play a major role in affecting our health and quality of life. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the environment in relation to human health is “all the physical, chemical, and biological factors external to a person, and all the related behaviors.”

The Healthy People 2020 Environmental Health focuses on six primary themes, highlighting key elements of environmental health. These include:

  • Ground water and surface quality
  • Homes and communities
  • Quality of outdoor air
  • Hazardous wastes and toxic substances
  • Infrastructure, surveillance, etc.
  • Global environmental health

To create a healthy environment, it is important to understand how hazardous environmental factors can potentially harm human health and wellbeing.

Importance of Environmental Health

Human wellbeing and environmental health are intrinsically associated – improving quality of life and mortality rate. According to a study, 26% of deaths in children below 5 years and 23% of all deaths are caused due to environmental factors. Inability to maintain a high quality of environmental wellbeing has a direct impact on individuals with “compromised” health.

And why just humans! Poor environmental health also has a major impact on our natural resources and the society at large. Therefore, it is crucial to address the potentially risky environmental factors that accentuate the likelihood of human exposure and poor health.

5 Environmental Factors Affecting Human Health

For overall human health and wellbeing, environment matters. It is crucial for all environmental factors to be well-balanced to ensure we live a healthy, prosperous and contended life. However, there are several environmental elements that people need prevent to remain healthy and improve their quality of life. Let’s check out:

1. Water Pollution

Do you know that on average 1 in 10 people do not have basic accessibility to safe drinking water

The current UN World Water Development Report warns that “climate change will affect the availability, quality and quantity of water needed for basic human needs, thus, undermining enjoyment of the basic rights to safe drinking water and sanitation for billions of people.”

Water quality is greatly impacted by higher water temperatures and a decline in dissolved oxygen today. This has resulted in a decrease in freshwater basins’ capacity to self-purify. Furthermore, high levels of pollutants, pathogen contamination caused due to floods, plastic pollution, etc. are significantly affecting the quality of water.

As a consequence, 2.2 billion people today have no access to “safely managed drinking water.” Water pollution has led to an increased quantity of harmful contaminants, including aluminium, lead, copper and chromium. Additionally, even trace amounts of arsenic, barium or cadmium in drinking water can result into prolonged illnesses.

2. Quality of Air

According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 7 million deaths occur worldwide every year due to air pollution. Data reveals that “9 out of 10 people breathe air that exceeds WHO guideline limits containing high levels of pollutants, with low- and middle-income countries suffering from the highest exposures.”

Ambient air pollution, in addition to smoke and other pollutants inside the home, is the primary cause behind premature deaths and ecological imbalance. Mortality rate has increased considerably as a result of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, stroke, acute respiratory infections, heart disease and even lung cancer.

According to an article published in NCBI, air pollution is regarded as one of the major environmental factors in the incidence and progression of some diseases such as asthma, lung cancer, ventricular hypertrophy, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, psychological complications, autism, retinopathy, foetal growth and low birth weight.” 

Therefore, proper measures should be taken to ensure you are able to cope with the consequences of air pollution, especially if you live in a highly industrialised area or cities with smog alerts such as Delhi.

3. Asbestos

Do you live in an industrial area where asbestos is being used widely? If yes, it is time for you to consider relocating to a potentially asbestos-free region. Most industries, particularly construction, commonly use asbestos as it is resistant to heat, water, and fire. Producing asbestos is also inexpensive.

However, it is one of the most hazardous environmental factors inhaling which may result into a wide range of illnesses in human beings and animals. The fibres from asbestos are inhaled easily, reaching the lower regions of our lungs. Over prolonged exposure, this can result in fibrotic lung disease and can also cause changes in the chest cavity’s lining. Such diseases can affect your respiratory functions and even cause death.

Asbestos fibres also heighten the risk of developing mesothelioma and lung cancer. Since lungs are affected due to asbestosis, it can cause increased blood-flow resistance and enlargement of the heart as a result.

4. Homes and Communities

While homes and communities cannot be considered as direct environmental hazards but these are known to expose people to several conditions that affect their health and wellbeing. These include structural problems, indoor air pollution, noise pollution, fire and electrical hazards, improper sanitation and heating, paint hazards caused from paints, etc.

These factors can significantly impact human safety and health. Therefore, it is important to take essential measures to maintain healthy homes and communities that can help improve overall environmental health.

5. Impact of Climate Changes on Human Health 

Do you know that the air you breathe is majorly affected by climatic changes? Fast-changing weather patterns and warmer temperatures can degrade air quality significantly, resulting in cardiovascular diseases, asthma and other respiratory problems. According to environmentalists, climatic impact is one of the environmental factors that can pose serious threat to human health and wellbeing.”

Rising temperatures and higher levels of carbon dioxide in the air also cause a number of allergens which can affect human health. Widespread wildfires are also causing major climatic changes, resulting in smoke and other air pollutants. On the other hand, drought or flood are also known to cause serious heath hazards to human beings.


In addition to the above-mentioned environmental factors, there are numerous other health hazards that you should be aware of and take measures to prevent the same. It is through this approach that you can feel safe and healthy, living a more fulfilling life.

The post Potentially Harmful Environmental Factors to Keep an Eye on appeared first on Nature Talkies – We Talk about Nature.