Experts: India Dumping Ground For E-waste

An environmental group warned Tuesday that India was fast becoming a dumping ground for electronic waste and asked the government to frame stringent laws to control illegal trade and its recycling.

India generates up to 385,800 tons of electronic waste every year - equal to 110 million laptops- and imports another 55,100 tons, mostly illegally under the pretext of metal scrap and secondhand electrical appliances, said the Center For Science And Environment.

Private companies employing thousands of workers recycled more than 90 percent of the electronic waste in India but draft laws circulated by the government recently ignored this unorganized sector, Chandra Bhushan, the group's environmentalist told reporters.

The draft laws covered only big investment companies that account for only 10 percent of the recycling of electronic waste in the country, Bhushan said.

The Environment Ministry spokeswoman was not immediately available for comment.

Bhushan also said the developed countries were using free trade agreements to export their wastes to countries like India to avoid the cost of disposing of them.

He listed some of the hazards faced by thousands of workers in the Indian industry: Extracting lead could damage their kidneys and reproductive health while plastic found in circuit boards could harm the immune system; chromium removed from metal plates in computers could damage liver and kidneys.

Comments

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Watch Now

New Android App

For your Android phone and tablet, download the FREE redesigned app, featuring CBSN, live 24/7 news.

Download
The all new
CBS News App for Android® for iPad® for iPhone®
Fully redesigned. Featuring CBSN, 24/7 live news. Get the App