Virtually any, and every electronic device made has some form of toxic material used to make them work. Chemical reactions, non-ferrous and ferrous metals which refer to compounds of metals or metal alloys combined with iron, and other substances that are harmful to the environment will eventually leach out into the area where it is, especially in landfills. Some devices even use precious metals like gold, copper, lead and silver which can be removed and reused.
These components affect the water table, which in time will also alter sea life with the pollutants eventually moving to the oceans, making drinking water become toxic and undrinkable. They also will affect the surrounding soils making plant life and the critters within the soil unable to survive. This land will eventually become arid and unusable. Over time, these toxins will also be released into the air which travels the entire world on the air currents so even if this was an issue in another country, it will still affect your area.
An Ounce of Prevention
To prevent these toxic materials entering our fragile environment, take your old electronic devices to a recycler to correctly dispose of the toxic materials. Make certain the recycler you use has the proper certifications and one of the most important certifications they can receive is to be ISO certified. ISO stands for International Organization for Standardization. Make sure you are only using recyclers that are R2 certified so you will be insured they are following the proper procedures for recycling e-waste materials.
Reusing Your Electronics
Some of your old electronic devices can actually be reused for people, companies, schools and other organizations that don’t have access to these devices. You can also donate them to places like Good Will where they will go through the devices making sure they are safely useable, which actually helps the economy by providing extra jobs for this process.
The Cellphone Problem
The largest electronic pollutants are cellphones. With the current demand to have the latest with all the bells and whistles, the turnover of cellphones is incredible. A lot of people just dispose of them in their garbage and they go into the landfill. Cellphones alone are enough to ruin our ecosystem and with the billions of phones improperly disposed of, we already have a serious ecological problem. Any device not properly recycled is just adding to an already desperate situation that will haunt our descendants for generations to come if not handled properly.