The increasing obsolescence rate of electronic products also adds to the huge import of used electronics products. The e-waste inventory based on this obsolescence rate inIndiafor the year 2005 has been estimated to be 1, 46,180 tones which is expected to exceed 8, 00,000 tones by 2012. (Guidelines for environmentally sound management of e-waste, 2008)
In countries like China where there exist clear labor protection laws, the business of handling the e-waste has been extremely profitable and requires cheap labor, the handling of e-waste has been shadowed under the requirement of the metals recovered by processing this electronic and electrical waste as being the raw material for different industries. Under the Chinese law, the e-waste worker is fairly protected. The problem is the wide scale application of the health and safety laws and since the majority of E-waste workers are rural migrants, the issue of protecting their health and safety is closely intertwined with that of protecting this socially marginalized group. (Mines & Communities, 2005).
In the developed countries likeUnited States, the technological advancement from both software and hardware level is so fast that, the overall country is producing great amount of waste which for the manufacturers and handlers are finding difficult to manage. The government seems to avoid the issue of handling this toxic waste in environmental friendly manner. The mechanism to carry out disposal of such waste in environmental friendly manner is extremely costly. Those people who claim that they re-cycle the waste are actually exporting it to the other countries where poor workers, in ignorance and financial needs take the risk of their lives and work with such toxins. State media estimated almost nine of out 10 of the people in Guiyu suffered from problems with their skin, nervous, respiratory or digestive systems. (Reuters, 2007)
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