Worries over electronic waste from the developing world

From Nature:

Comp Public-health problems and environmental degradation caused by recycling of old computer equipment could skyrocket in the next two decades, as increasingly wealthy consumers in countries such as India and China ditch their obsolete hardware. Within six to eight years, developing countries will be disposing of more old computers than the developed world, suggests a study published today in Environmental Science & Technology1. And by 2030, these nations will be disposing of two to three times as many computers as the developed world, perhaps resulting in up to 1 billion computers being dumped worldwide every year — up from a global total of around 180 million units per year now.

What this means, says study author Eric Williams, an environmental engineer at Arizona State University, Tempe, is that even if the flow of obsolete computers exported from the developed world for recycling is completely shut off, the developing world will still have to cope with a massive amount of domestic electronic waste.

More here.