Next-Gen

Environmental Impact

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by matosa9
Last updated 5 years ago

Discipline:
Science
Subject:
Ecology

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Environmental Impact

Technology is a part of our day lives. We are constantly using devises and when they get old or out of date, we get rid of them. There are millions of technologies we use but three of the main ones that cross our lives on a regular basis are cell phones, televisions and computers. When we decided to get rid of these products we toss them away not knowing the dangers they might cause if disposed incorrectly.

Environmental Impact

There are millions of computers sold each year in the US and are replaced with new ones constantly. According to the United Nations, about 20 to 50 million tons of electronic components are discarded each year, and computers have become a big part of this number (National Geographic). Many of the computers that are thrown out end up in landfills. This becomes a problem for the environment because computers contain many toxic chemicals including lead in the batteries, brominated flame retardants (BRFs), and the polyvinyl chloride (PVC) used for coating wires (National Geographic).

Millions of cell phones are replaced each year, especially with the constant new upgrades coming out. When disposed incorrectly, cellphones contain many parts that may cause damage in the environment. Cell phones contain toxic substances such as arsenic, copper, and lead just to name a few. Lead, if exposed into the environment can affect many plants, animals. Mercury, which is found in batteries if it makes its way into our waters and transforms into methylated mercury, can end up in foods we eat and cause brain damage (Wirefly).

According to Electronics TakeBack Coalition, 34.1 million televisions were sold in 2010 in America. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimated that in America, more the 80 percent of the millions of televisions we get rid of end up in landfills. Cathode ray tubes which are a part in a television that help produce and image on the screen contains a large amount of lead. The lead helps protect viewers from harmful x-rays but when a TV becomes trash landfills it can contaminate soil and water supplies.

Citeshttp://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/green-guide/buying-guides/television/environmental-impact/http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/green-guide/buying-guides/laptop-computer/environmental-impact/?rptregcta=reg_free_np&rptregcampaign=20130924_rw_membership_r3p_w#close-modalhttp://www.wirefly.org/why-recycle/environment.phphttp://www.electronicstakeback.com/wp-content/uploads/Facts_and_Figures_on_EWaste_and_Recycling.pdfhttp://science.time.com/2011/01/04/waste-get-some-new-electronics-for-the-holidays-heres-how-to-e-cycle-your-old-tech/#ixzz2hAV1J400

It is against the law to throw away electronics in 24 states. These are some other options besides throwing away electronics.-Give old electronics to a friend or family member-Sell old phones to websites-See if the original retailer will take it and recycle it-Contact a recycling company

What can teachers do in the classroom to promote and express the importance of recycling electronics that will encourage children to apply it in their life?


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