Each citizen produces 3.3 tons of e-waste over the course of a lifetime

The European Commission estimates that each European citizen produces 3.3 tons of e-waste over the course of an average lifetime, trash that piles up in landfills and leeches toxins into the earth and water. That waste comes from discarded computers, cell-phones, DVD players, toasters, refrigerators, clock radios, medical devices — most everything powered by electricity.

The ingredients used in many of these devices: mercury, cadmium, lead, chromium, and two chemical flame retardants called polybrominated biphenyl flame retardants. These heavy metals and chemicals have been [for years] integral to the circuitry, solder, and casting of thousands of small and large electronic devices.

Studies suggest the ingredients could have potent carcinogenic and endocrine-disrupting effects.

Exposed by Mark Shapiro

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