E-waste is one of the fastest growing waste streams globally and India generates more than two million tonnes of this toxic waste annually.
A new study by non-profit Toxics Link has found 15 informal hotspots of electronic waste (e-waste) processing in Delhi to be functioning without any health or environmental safeguards.
New & Old Seelampur (Shahdara), Mustafabad (North East Delhi), Behta Hazipur and Loni (Ghaziabad) are the biggest such informal hotspots in Delhi followed by Turkman Gate, Daryaganj, Shastri Park, Mayapuri, Saeed Nagar, Jafrabad, Mata Sundari Road, Mandoli, Brijpuri and Seemapuri.
These informal units were involved in all kinds of e-waste processing operations including refurbishing, dismantling, metal recycling and recovery.
Workers operate from shabby and small rooms of residential or unauthorized colonies or open units near agricultural areas and are routinely exposed to chemical and metallic vapor, dusts and acidic effluents.
These units have no environmental safeguards and are polluting our air, soil and water.
Almost all the units ignored health or environment. Hazardous waste and effluents were discharged or dumped in the open within or outside the colony.
Exposure to them can cause neuro-toxicity, reproductive problems, cancer, alteration in hormone functions, bone and kidney damage.
Reference- Down To Earth, Toxics Link Study, Assocham website