Paje warns of dangers from electronic waste


Posted at Jan 13 2013 03:42 PM | Updated as of Jan 13 2013 11:42 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Environment Secretary Ramon Paje warned the public of toxic chemicals arising from the improper disposal of electronic waste.

He advised Filipinos to recycle old electronic gadgets and appliances instead of throwing them away.

“If you happen to replace or simply have unused electronic gears or appliances sitting around the house, don’t just throw them in the trash,” Paje said. “Many components of such equipment are considered toxic and are not biodegradable, and therefore can be harmful to the environment and human health if not disposed of properly.”

He said e-waste produces chemicals that can seep into the soil or water supply and affect human health.

Some hard and sharp metals and toxic chemicals found in electronics, such as lead, chromium, nickel, zinc and mercury, can mix with other harmful substances in dump sites or sanitary landfills, he added.

“You have three main choices for properly getting rid of your old or unused electronics: trade it, donate it or recycle it,” Paje said, noting that there are electronic and mobile phone companies and recycling centers that collect e-waste.

“Gadgets like cell phones and laptops could be used to fund a good cause, or go to someone who perhaps wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford it,” he added.