Case Study - Electronic Waste effect on Southern Chinas Air...

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“Electronic Waste effect on Southern China’s Air Quality” By: Qing Yang Meaghan McGinn America has become increasingly depend on China over the past decades. Not only do they manufacture a majority of our goods, they have become the dumping ground for the waste the US does not wish to deal with. Electronic waste is collected in the Chinese town of Guiyu. This electronic waste is comprised of the known air pollutants lead, mercury, cadmium, beryllium oxide, PCBs and sulfurs. China has put in place some efforts to illegalize the import of electronic waste, but it has only created a black market for these goods. There is much more China can do to prevent the exposure of its citizens to toxic fumes without destroying their source of income. The people in Guiyu daily expose themselves to unhealthy levels of toxins in order to be paid around 6 dollars a day by stripping down the waste to obtain the rare metals. The process includes melting the electronic waste which releases polychlorinated and polybrominated dioxins, some of the most harmful toxins known on earth. These dioxins are not the only pollutant affecting Guiyu. An analysis of the air done by the Journal of Material Cycles & Waste Management showed that the open air burning of waste resulted in 12,419ng of polychlorinateddibenzo-p-dioxins and 15,610ng of dibenzofurans per kg waste input. Copper in the soil around the burn pits were found to be 579ng per kg waste input. Table 1 outlines compounds found in several samples taken around the city. While these are dust samples, dust becomes air pollution when picked up by the wind. These pollutants are obviously affecting the
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This note was uploaded on 07/07/2010 for the course CHEM 4602 taught by Professor ... during the Spring '10 term at University of Minnesota Morris.

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Case Study - Electronic Waste effect on Southern Chinas Air...

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