Let me ask you one question: what do you usually do with your outdated, old or broken laptop computers,tablets and smart-phones? Most of my friends throw their gadgets away without any hesitations. What about you? As for me, I never do such an awful thing. I prefer turning me electronic devices into cash. It doesn't mean that I am greedy person or something like that; I just care about environment a lot. My friends think that the reason why I am selling my laptop or other unit look carefully for the best customer is money - the main point for me in my life, I cannot judge them or re-convince them. They have right to think what they want. They will take my side if they know what I know about the danger of e-waste.
E-waste statistics and laptop selling
People usually never think about pollution problems that are caused by their electronic garbage. They don't even want to understand that gadgets from all over the world do not disappear into the other dimension; they are usually left on the landfills under the impact of sun, rain and snow. According to the United Nations statistics in 2014 there were over 41 million tones of e-waste discarded and 90 percent of it - illegally. It means that all this stuff just lay somewhere causing unbelievable damage to environment. Only a small percentage of e-waste is being recycled. Knowing this information I cannot pass by it, that is why I prefer selling my laptop, tablet or smart-phone instead of throwing them away.
Dangerous metals in your laptop
There are many different components in electronic gadgets, especially those that are manufactured nowadays and most of them are really hazardous. Being left without a proper disposition, they can affect human health in a really bad way. You see, all these components leak into the soil and poison underground water that in its turn poisons plants that become our food.
- Arsenic. According to studies performed in 2007, there were near 140 million people suffering from arsenic poisoning through drinking water all over the world. Early symptoms of this disease are next: diarrhea, headaches, drowsiness and confusion. On later stages people lose their hair, have blood in their urine, and feel strong pain in lugs, kidneys, stomach and other organs. The result of poisoning with arsenic is coma and death. Not very optimistic picture, do you agree?
- Cadmium. This is another dangerous component of the e-waste. It can be found in the rechargeable batteries, CRT screens and printer inks - things that we contact every day. The truth is that cadmium is extremely toxic. The statistics shows that everyday people from 8 to 30 mcg of cadmium through food in the United States and from 59 to 113 mcg in Japan. Cadmium poisoning usually causes problems with kidneys, respiratory tract, bones, illnesses of liver and even losing a smell. It also can become a reason of the high acidity of blood and this in its turn may lead to comma.
- Barium. This component is a reason of many diseases - low blood potassium level, problems with blood pressure, muscle twitching, cardiac weakness, kidney damage, multiply sclerosis and death.
- Mercury. Even children know that this element not just poisoning heavy metal; it is extremely poisoning. Usually, getting into the human's organism, mercury starts to block blood vessels and its toxic effect is highly dangerous for kidneys, altogether with lungs and brain that leads to problems with speech, hearing, vision and coordination. Being affect with mercury poisoning small children may lose teeth, all hair and even nails, their skin becomes red and they may also lose their memory. Like most of other hazardous elements this metal gets into our body with water, fish and fruits and vegetables. One of the compounds of mercury dimethylmercury being spilled on the skin can cause death. And this extremely poisoning element is present in many electronic gadgets. This is the reason why I sell my laptop or give it for free to others users don't even think about throwing it away.
- Lead. Lead poisoning is also called plumbism or Devon colic. It affects almost all human's body, including nervous and reproductive systems. The most common symptoms of the plumbism are so numerous that you will never believe it: headaches, general weakness, abdominal pain, seizures, irritability, confusion and anemia, insomnia, nausea and many others. Also it may cause comma and death. According to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, in the United States there are over three million workers that are in danger to get lead poisoning.
- Lithium. This is one of the most dangerous components of electronic waste because it affects human's mental health and causes bipolar disorder. More severe symptoms are next: ataxia, muscle twitches hand tremors, nystagmus, slurred speech and comma. Sometimes, it leads to flash heart attacks and if there is no one around, who can help, person with lithium poisoning may die.
There are many other hazardous compounds of electronic waste that have destroying effect on our health both physical and mental. It is wrong to think that one or two old and used gadgets that you throw away cannot cause much danger to environment and to other people. This is a totally wrong position. Everyone on this planet things the same and as a result we have ground waters and soil all soaked with heavy metals and poisoning elements that feed plants and fish, get into the animals' organism through that plants and into our bodies at last. And then we wonder why do we feel so sick? Well, it is our reluctance to take care about nature turning back to us.
Like all others I have old gadgets that cannot be used anymore, but unlike others I understand how dangerous it is to put them into the garbage. That is why I prefer to sell used laptop or tablet or give it to services that perform e-waste recycling. I hope that after reading this article you will make up your mind to follow my example, and together we will make our lives safe and healthy.