Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Electronic Waste

Contributed by Mike Bruton

One of the major environmental problems that has been caused by the modern digital revolution is the amount of electronic waste that is generated. This ‘electronic trash’ has to be dumped or recycled somewhere; its potential impact on the natural environment and on human health is regarded by many experts as a ‘ticking time bomb’. The amount of electronic waste that is being produced today is phenomenal, not only because there are so many electronic devices out there but also because they have built-in redundancy, i.e. they are designed to last for only a short time so that you are obliged to buy a new one every few years.

The consequence of all this is that many toxic materials are seeping into the environment and contaminating the underground water table, which may eventually make it unfit for human or animal consumption. Other toxins are volatile and release toxic particles into the air; these particles eventually enter the food chain or pollute the sea.

The hazardous components of electronic trash include barium, which is used to protect computer users against radiation. Even limited exposure to barium can cause brain tumors and have a negative impact on the muscles, heart, liver and spleen. Chromium is regarded as one of the most threatening toxic wastes as it can penetrate cells and damage the DNA. Phosphorus, which is used in phosphor panels, is also toxic, so as lead, which is used in keyboards and display screens. Lead can have very negative impacts on the nervous system, blood circulation, kidneys and immune system of the body. Color and black inks from printers also contain a variety of toxins including heavy metals which can cause respiratory distress and cancers.

The solution to the problem is to dispose off electronic waste sensibly and through the proper channels, to recycle as much electronic waste as possible, and to buy products that contain the minimum amount of toxic substances. Manufacturers can assist by minimizing the use of toxic materials in the manufacture of electronic devices.

Recycling is not only about keeping the environment clean, it is also about turning waste into something useful, reducing the amount of litter and pollution, and extending the life of landfill sites. Recycling also conserves scarce and valuable natural resources, saves energy and water, and supports job creation.

In Bahrain, the Public Commission for the Protection of Marine Resources, Environment and Wildlife is taking the lead in promoting the wise disposal and recycling of electronic waste. Contact them for more information on what you can do to help solve this serious problem.

Professor Mike Bruton
MTE Studios Director,
Bahrain Science Centre.

MOST READ

Mental Health in Yoga

In Yoga equal, if not more, importance is given to mental health as is to physical health. A person who is mentally healthy is...

Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority Hosts Broadway Musical ‘The Wizard of Oz’

The Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA) announced that it will host the popular Broadway Musical ‘The Wizard of Oz’ for the first time...

HH Shaikh Khalid expresses pride in Bahraini para-athletes

HH Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa, First Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Council for Youth and Sports and President of Bahrain Olympic Committee...

ENJOY A HASSLE-FREE SUMMER WITH AL HADDAD MOTORS’ SERVICES

Mercedes-Benz prioritizes safety and comfort and as a result Al Haddad Motors is bringing you great offers on services that will help ensuring that...

Minister shares Eid Al-Adha joy with senior citizens, children

Labour and Social Development Minister, Jameel bin Mohammed Ali Humaidan, paid a visit to the Child Welfare Home (Batelco Home). Through the visit, also attended...

Bahrain-Home for All Good Citizens!

Kingdom of Bahrain always promoted the 'Unity in Diversity' and supported the harmonious existence multi-nationalities and multi-religious communities in the Kingdom. The Kingdom has...

Virtual desktops finally come to Chrome OS

The latest version of Chrome OS is rolling out to Chromebooks now and it comes with a lot more new features than usual. The...

This Mophie wireless charger is probably the closest thing to AirPower that Apple will ever sell

Apple has begun selling two multidevice wireless chargers from Mophie. Both the Dual Wireless Charging Pad and 3-in-1 Wireless Charging Pad are coming to...

26th showroom of Malabar Gold & Diamonds opened in Karnataka, India

Malabar Gold & Diamonds, one among the largest jewellery retailers globally with a strong retail network of 250 outlets spread across 10 countries launched...

Boundless Networking at Your Fingertips, Interview with Muhanna Al Sulaiti

AlMajlis App, is taking the social networking scenario by storm, by presenting apt and umpteen opportunities as per the interests. Bahrain This Week shares a...

Minister receives IEEE society delegation

Electricity and Water Affairs Minister Dr. Abdulhussain Mirza received a delegation from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)'s Association, headed by Dr....

King’s advisor chairs Bahrain Sports Pioneers Society’s meeting

Advisor to HM the King for Youth and Sports Affairs, Saleh bin Isa bin Hindi Al-Mannai, chaired a meeting of the Bahrain Sports Pioneers...

HH Shaikh Nasser-Owned Mare Al Raya Shines in Lingfield

Mare Al Raya stormed to victory in the Lingfield race, adding to the long list of victories attained by mares owned by HH Shaikh...

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray C8 Coupe

The long-awaited C8 Corvette Stingray was introduced on July 18 as a 2020 model year car arriving with a complete redesign and rethink of...

EPIC Abu Dhabi Showdown week schedule to underline UAE capital’s heavyweight Leisure and Entertainment destination status

From mega concerts including the Red Hot Chili Peppers, bumper hotel promotions and city-wide retail and F&B deals, to free car give-aways and super...