• EPA blamed for lack of control on e-waste

Health & Safety

EPA blamed for lack of control on e-waste

Sep 19 2008

The US Environmental Protection Agency has been faulted for failing to control the export of waste from IT sources, it has been claimed.

A new report commissioned by the house committee on foreign affairs this week also attacked the regulations in place to tackle the issue, the Environment News Service said, describing them as too limited.

While existing environmental legislation only deals with cathode ray tubes, the export of other types of electronics could be having a negative environmental effect, as the regulations only address the decomposition of these products in US landfills.

The Government Accountability Office report said: "Some exported used electronics are handled responsibly in countries with effective regulatory controls and by companies with advanced technologies."

But it added that a substantial quantity end up in countries with unsafe disposable practices that can harm the environment.

Products improperly disposed of can cause damage to water quality and soil quality when toxins used in breaking down components are flushed into rivers.

The Galt Global Review notes that, if disposed in landfills, electronic equipment can leak toxins into groundwater or produce carcinogenic materials.

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