Tuesday, November 1, 2011

“Electronic waste accounts for 70 percent of the overall toxic waste currently found in landfills”-Dr.Arun Sentilram.

Dr.Arun Senthilram delivers the key note address on e-waste management
The joint venture of creating awareness on e-waste among Trichy School students by Toxic links, Nokia and Centre for Media Studies, Trichy has a very positive response among the school pupils, teacher and the parents of schools and their neighbourhoods of Trichy schools.  Mr.L.Shanawas Khan, Director of Media studies welcomed the gathering at SEVAI Shanthi Higher Secondary School,Arubuhalnagar,Pettavaithalai and enlightened the purpose of the pilot campaign on e-waste especially mobile phones. Dr.Arun Senthil Ram, Coordinator of Toxic Links delivered the key note address and said, “Electronic waste accounts for 70 percent of the overall toxic waste currently found in landfills. The statistics on electronic waste (e-waste) are alarming. E-waste is now the fastest-growing part of the municipal waste stream. In addition to valuable metals like aluminum, electronics often contain hazardous materials such as mercury. When placed in a landfill, even in small doses, these materials can contaminate soil as well as drinking water. Although cell phone may not contain as much toxic material as larger electronic devices such as TVs, its shelf life is only about 18 months for the average consumer. With hip new products coming out on a regular basis, it’s estimated that there are more than 500 million used cell phones ready for disposal. Cell phone coatings are often made of lead, meaning that if these 500 million cell phones are disposed of in landfills, it will result in 312,000 pounds of lead released. However, possibly the most hazardous component of the cell phone is the battery. Cell phone batteries were originally composed of nickel and cadmium (Ni-Cd batteries). Cadmium is listed as a human carcinogen that causes lung and liver damage. Alternatives contain potentially explosive lithium or toxic lead. There are over 400 million active mobile phones in India. Think of how many of those people are on their second and even third cell phones. When we also consider that 80% of the world's populations live in an area with cell phone reception, recycling old phones just makes sense. Mobile phones seem so efficient, but there are hidden dangers associated with them once they become e-waste. The harmful materials contained in electronics, coupled with the fast rate at which we're replacing outdated units, poses a real danger to human health if electronics are not properly processed prior to disposal or recycled. Electronics like computers and cell phones contain a lot of different toxins. For example, cathode ray tubes (CRTs) in computers contain heavy metals, such as lead, barium and cadmium, which can be very harmful to health if they enter the water system. These materials can cause damage to human nervous and respiratory systems. Flame retardant plastics, used in electronics casings, can release particles that damage human endocrine functions. These are the types of things that can happen when unprocessed e-waste is put directly in landfill. Individual consumers are obviously not solely responsible for e-waste issues. Institutions also bear a significant ownership of these problems. Think of how many mobile phones are in your workplace. Clearly, businesses make a substantial contribution to the consumption and disposal of electronics. Thus, everyone should ensure the responsible recycling and/or disposal of cell phones. In most instances, your mobile phone company should be able to recycle your old phone for you. Prior to recycling or disposing of your old cell phone, it is very important that you remove all personal data from the unit. Recycling and the proper disposal of electronics is a major part of the solution to our growing e-waste problem. Regardless of whether these positive actions are mandated by industry or government, progress occurs when individuals and businesses change their thinking about e-waste”.Dr.Arun handled this session as more interactive and participative. Several students raised meaningful queries and Dr.Senthil Ram responded positively and appreciated the students for their thought provoking questions. The students were also received the recycled pens from the organizers for their intelligent questions and responses. Principal of the school, Mrs.P.Chitra proposed vote of thanks-Govin

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