Voice of America (Washington, DC)

Africa: UN Warns of Hazards of Electronic Waste

Photo: Natalie Behring/Greenpeace
Electronic waste.

The United Nations predicts that the amount of electronic waste disposed of annually worldwide will surge 33 percent by 2017.

The U.N.'s "Solving the E-Waste Problem" initiative issued a report Sunday saying that the weight of electronic goods discarded every year worldwide would rise to 65.4 million metric tons by 2017, with most of the growth coming from developing nations.

The alliance of U.N. organizations, grassroots groups and industry said China had the highest volume of electrical goods put on the market last year, with the U.S. ranking second. Taken together developing and emerging countries already produce as much e-waste as the developed world.

E-waste - defined as anything with a battery or electrical cord - often contains materials that are toxic to humans and the environment.

The study called for better monitoring of e-waste exports, saying a lack of consistent reporting makes it difficult to formulate effective rules of the treatment of electrical junk.

Ads by Google

Copyright © 2013 Voice of America. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.

InFocus

E-Waste to Rise, Governments Found Wanting

Electronic waste.

While managing electronic waste is increasingly difficult for developing countries, it does present some opportunities, experts say. Read more »