E-waste in Guiyu, China Facts

E-waste in Guiyu, China Facts
The largest e-waste (electronic waste) site in the world is located in Guiyu, China. E-waste consists of old electronics including cell phones, computers, printers, keyboards, and other devices. The e-waste site in Guiya employs more than 150,000 people that work up to 16 hours a day disassembling electronic waste, and either recycling, recapturing, or discarding the components. Guiya is essentially a group of four towns in the Guangdong Province in China, consisting of 52 square kilometers. Despite being electronic waste and not typical household garbage and waste, the impact on the environment is devastating and the impact on public health due to toxic substances used to create electronic devices is extremely damaging.
Interesting E-waste in Guiyu, China Facts:
The recycling efforts in Guiyu are primitive and result in toxic substances being leached into the ground and environment in the region.
It is estimated that 80% of children in the region suffer from lead poisoning.
The rate of miscarriages in Guiyu is above average.
Workers do not wear gloves when dismantling electronic devices and are exposed to metals and toxins such as chromium and lead.
Due to the amount of toxins that have leached into the groundwater and land the area is no longer suitable for growing food. The region was once a rive village.
The toxins that have leached into the river have made the water unsafe for drinking.
A large amount of the e-waste arriving in Guiyu originates in the United States. It is discarded and shipped there for disposal. The U.S is estimated to throw away approximately 9.4 million tons of e-waste each year.
It is estimated that only roughly 12.5% of e-waste is actually recycled.
The e-waste that arrives in Guiyu is not handled in an organized manner. It is dumped in the town and left for residents to dismantle. The ground becomes saturated with poisons that not only damage the environment but also wreak havoc on the health of its residents.
The air in Guiyu smells of noxious metals and burning plastic.
E-waste is often shipped overseas because it is less expensive to dispose of in this way than to recycle it properly.
When people pay to dispose of their e-waste the e-waste is often shipped overseas rather than properly recycled. This is a highly profitable way for companies to make additional revenue and receive tax breaks from the government.
Despite it being illegal to import e-waste into China, the revenue is so great that the government overlooks this ban.
Guiyu earns an estimated $75 million each year by processing more than 1.5 tons of e-waste from around the world.
Heavy metals found in the ground in Guiyu include mercury, lead, aluminum, cadmium, and tin.
Some components of e-waste are burned to release parts. The burning of many of these parts creates noxious and toxic chemicals into the air and ground.
Gold and silver can be found in the components of some e-waste parts.
In 2007 efforts were made by the central government to uphold the e-waste ban but nothing has changed.

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