Friday, August 28, 2009

E-waste: Western Shame

Further to my August 3rd.posting, about pollution created by Gap and Levi's factories in Africa, comes a PBS FRONTLINE/World expose of massive e-waste pollution: hundreds of millions of tonnes of Western civilisation's unwanted electronic waste, dumped annually!
As is par for the course, it all seems to end up in the laps of Third World countries. Places such as Ghana, China and India...where impoverished people scavenge for scraps of semi-precious metals to sell. In order to obtain these scraps, they melt circuit boards - unwittingly inhaling toxic fumes during the process. The poor are live.
Another extremely worrying aspect is the obtaining of sensitive data from the hard-drives of dumped computers. In these days of credit theft, e-scams and identity fraud, organised criminals buy these hard-drives for the equivalent of $35...who knows what they'll find?
Although the video is 20 minutes long, I recommend it: you'll have your eyes opened, and may never nonchalantly dump a dead computer again!

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