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Discarded electronics account for approximately 70 percent of heavy metals and 40 percent of the lead found in U.S. landfills according to a 2001 EPA report.
 
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Friday, 18 August 2006
ImageThose PCs, VCRs, TVs, and cell phones we replace or discard at the end of their useful lives wind up going to the dump (we think) if they don't get pushed to the back of the  closet, and few are actually recycled in a safe manner. But as environmental journalist Grossman reveals in this engaging book, these everyday symbols of the 21st century rely on toxic materials (e.g., lead, mercury, chlorine, flame retardants) born of complex mining operations and chemical reactions, both of which can degrade the environment and affect human health. Grossman follows the trail of electronic waste from landfills in the United States to "recycling" centers in India and China where workers pick apart these products and thereby are exposed to pollutants. Her language is quiet, clear, and compelling as she argues that we follow the European model of regulating materials used in electronic products and e-waste recycling. Strongly recommended for all collections, particularly ecology and  environmental collections.
 
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