The Problem With Electronics
Toxic Materials in Electronic Products
Over 1,000 materials, including chlorinated solvents, brominated flame retardants, PVC, heavy metals, plastics and gases, are used to make electronic products and their components—semiconductor chips, circuit boards, display panels, and disk drives.
A Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) monitor can contains between four and eight pounds of lead alone. Big screen tube TVs contain even more than that. Flat panel TVs and monitors contain less lead, but many use mercury lamps. About 40% of the heavy metals in landfills, including lead, mercury and cadmium, comes from electronic equipment discards.
What Are The Health Risks?
Lead – The health effects of lead are well known; lead exposure causes brain damage in children and has already been banned from many consumer products.
Mercury -Mercury is toxic in very low doses, and causes brain and kidney damage. It can be passed on through breast milk; just 1/70th of a teaspoon of mercury can contaminate 20 acres of a lake, making the fish unfit to eat.
Cadmium – Cadmium accumulates in the human body and poisons the kidneys.
BFRs – Brominated flame retardants (BFRs) may seriously affect hormonal functions critical for normal development. A recent study of dust on computers in workplaces and homes found BFRs in every sample taken. One group of BFRs, PBDEs, has been found in alarming rates in the breast milk of women in Sweden and the U.S.
GreenPrint Recycling can pick up and properly process over 100,000 lbs of electronic scrap monthly from over 300 major US cities.
Materials that arrive at our GreenPrint Recycling facility undergo a testing and qualification process to determine if they are suitable for possible refurbishing and reuse. Many of the items contain components that can be dismantled, refurbished and then remarketed. Items that contain corporate data undergo data erasing processes.
After evaluation, the items are carefully dismantled and separated into individual gaylord boxes by commodity, such as steel, aluminum, copper, glass and plastics.
This hand sorting process is critical to ensure potentially harmful components such as batteries, mercury, lead, inks and toners are safely separated.
Once the components are safely dismantled and separated, commodities such as steel, aluminum, copper, glass and plastic are baled for shredding or smeltering to be used as raw materials for future production of new goods.
Materials that could be considered hazardous are sent to other certified recycling refineries for responsible handling and appropriate disposal.
Contact Us for Responsible Zero Landfill, No Export Electronics Recycling