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E-waste: disposed of outdated and expensive to repair electronic products. (e.g. TVs, printers, laptops, computer monitors, MP3 players...)
These electronic products contain toxic substances like lead, mercury, cadmium and flame retardants. When improperly handled, workers and the environment are harmed in ways the US chooses to ignore.
Greater than 50% of e-waste generated in the US and Canada is being sent to India, China and Africa; because it costs a fraction to 'dispose' of it there than properly at home.
Besides there, adults and children make money 'backyard recycling' scrap electronic products. Unprotected workers heat the e-waste over open fires to remove reusable components, soaking what is left in acid baths to extract reclaimable metals. In the process those 'backyard recyclers' are exposed to a variety of toxic substances. Toxic residuals from the process are also polluting local water, soil and the air.
Backyard recycling is such a widespread practice in India that Dr. Thuppil Venkaratesh, advisor to the National Referral Center for Lead Poisoning in India, reports 53% of the children under 12 (in Bangalore, India) have elevated lead levels in their blood, which is resulting in brain damage and is restricting their ability to learn.
The majority of western countries (with the exception of the US and Canada) have enacted rules to prevent the improper disposal of e-waste and support the ineffective international treaty (the Basel Convention) that bans trans-border shipments. (e.g. often european e-waste is exported under the guise of being 'reusable gifts')