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Название: High Tech Trash: Digital Devices, Hidden Toxics, and Human Health
Автор: Grossman E.
The Digital Age was expected to usher in an era ofclean production, an alternative to smokestackindustries and their pollutants. But as environmentaljournalist Elizabeth Grossman reveals in this penetratinganalysis of high tech manufacture and disposal,digital may be sleek, but it’s anything butclean. Deep within every electronic device lie toxicmaterials that make up the bits and bytes, a complexthicket of lead, mercury, cadmium, plastics, and ahost of other often harmful ingredients.High Tech Trash is a wake-up call to the importance of the e-waste issueand the health hazards involved. Americans alone own more than twobillion pieces of high tech electronics and discard five to seven milliontons each year. As a result, electronic waste already makes up more thantwo-thirds of the heavy metals and 40 percent of the lead found in ourlandfills. But the problem goes far beyond American shores, most tragicallyto the cities in China and India where shiploads of discarded electronicsarrive daily. There, they are “recycled”—picked apart by hand,exposing thousands of workers and community residents to toxics.As Grossman notes,“This is a story in which we all play a part, whetherwe know it or not. If you sit at a desk in an office, talk to friends onyour cell phone, watch television, listen to music on headphones, are achild in Guangdong, or a native of the Arctic, you are part of this story.”The answers lie in changing how we design, manufacture, and disposeof high tech electronics. Europe has led the way in regulating materialsused in electronic devices and in e-waste recycling. But in theUnited States many have yet to recognize the persistent human healthand environmental effects of the toxics in high tech devices. If SilentSpring brought national attention to the dangers of DDT and otherpesticides, High Tech Trash could do the same for a new generation oftechnology’s products.