Electronic waste affects nearly every system in the human body because they contain a plethora of toxic components including Mercury, Lead, Cadmium, Polybrominated Flame Retardants, Barium and Lithium. Even the plastic casings of electronics products contain Polyvinyl Chloride. The health effects of these toxins on humans include birth defects, brain, heart, liver, kidney and skeletal system damage. They will also significantly affect the nervous and reproductive systems of the human body.
Electronic waste currently constitutes 2 to 5 percent of the US municipal solid waste stream. Carnegie Mellon University has predicted that there are already 70 million computers in our landfills. The average computer screen has five to eight pounds or more of lead representing 40 percent of all the lead in US landfills.
All these toxins are persistent, bioaccumulative toxins (PBTs) that create environmental and health risks when computers are incinerated, put in landfills or melted down. When computers monitors and other electronics are burned they create cancer-producing dioxins which are released into the air we breathe. If electronics are thrown in landfills, these toxins may leach into groundwater and affect local resources.