E-Waste Poses Health Threat To Pakistanis, Says UN Study

Pak­is­tan is among 15 countries where electronic (e-waste) dismantling and recycling is considered a major health hazard, says a UN report released on Tuesday.

E-waste poses health threat to Pakistanis, says UN study

By Anwar Iqbal

India, however, is among the three countries where the e-waste recycling is most prominent. Brazil and China are the other two.

All three major South Asian nations — India, Pakistan and Bangladesh — are among the worst affected by the e-waste.

The 2021 UN report — “Children and digital dumpsites” — warns that the “health of children, adolescents and expectant mothers worldwide is at risk from the illegal processing of old electrical or electronic devices.”

The report, released simultaneously in New York and Geneva by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday, is being called a landmark study on the toxic threat.

According to this report, Pakistan produced 433 kilotons of electronic waste last year. India, being one of the top three digital recyclers, produced 3,230 kilotons of e-waste. But India does have a national e-waste regulation policy, while Pakistan is still working on it.

Locations of informal electronic waste dismantling and recycling sites inside Pakistan: Karachi is the major location for e-waste recycling and dismantling in Pakistan. In 2014, an estimated 12.46 kilotons of old computers were imported into Karachi from various countries.

Several areas in Lahore are known to be involved in e-waste recycling. electronic waste is often dismantled and recycled inside rooms, with little ventilation. electronic waste recycling, dismantling and refurbishment are also undertaken in Faisalabad, Gujra­nwala and Peshawar.

The report, however, noted that “very little is known about e-waste recycling in these areas.” It is believed to be on a smaller scale than that in Karachi.

Originally published at Dawn

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