A bill banning the export of electronic waste to developing nations was introduced last week in Congress by Environment and Hazardous Materials subcommittee chairman Gene Green (D-Texas), and Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.), a member of the Congressional E-waste Working Group.
“Many Americans are unaware that discarded electronics contain lead, mercury, and other toxics and end up being salvaged under inhumane conditions in the developing world,” said Gene. “I am encouraged by the efforts to improve e-waste recycling in the U.S., but progress is an illusion when ‘recycling’ means exporting e-waste to be picked over by scavengers under hazardous conditions.”
Green said the EPA regulates exports of hazardous waste but it imposes little or no regulation on e-waste. The EPA reported that around 2.63 billion tons of e-waste were discarded in the United States in 2005.