Solon says illegal entry of electronic waste in the country a health hazard

January 20, 2015 11:55 pm 

MANILA, Jan 20 — Rep. Terry L. Ridon (Partylist, Kabataan) has called for a congressional inquiry into the illegal entry of electronic waste in the country.

“The toxic and hazardous chemicals in electronic waste can endanger the health of informal recyclers and the people around them as well as contaminate the environment with toxic pollutants,” Ridon said in House Resolution 628.

Ridon said the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) is urging developing economies to prevent dumping of e-waste from developed countries that threaten human health and the environment.

The UNEP report stated that the dilemma of globally increasing e-waste makes developing economies vulnerable to dumping as the cost of treatment of these products before disposal to the environment is high, Ridon said.

According to Ridon, there is an increasing and booming consumption of electrical and electronic goods such as personal computer and mobile phone in the Philippines corresponding to an explosion in electronic waste containing toxic, persistent chemicals and heavy metals.

“The country is faced with a mounting electronic waste problem at the present level of production, use and importation of electronic goods,” Ridon said.

Ridon said because of the absence of a systematic and proper measure for electronic waste disposal in the Philippines, the discarded technology is incinerated, dumped in landfills exposing workers, poor communities to danger.

He identified the poisonous heavy metals as lead, cadmium, mercury, chromium and halogenated substances such as brominated flame-retardants and polyvinyl chloride.

Ridon urged the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Department of Science and Technology to undertake a study on the extent of the problem posed by the increasing amounts of electronic waste in the country. (PNA)

CTB/PR/JSD

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