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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2647

E-waste likely to affect human health

By Manjari Peiris

"E-waste can give rise to a number of toxic by-products while the hazardous components are processed. They are likely to affect human health".

A project has been implemented to raise awareness on Positive Behavioral Change on E-waste Management among school children, related business communities and General Public, to minimize unprotected E-waste disposals and safe utilization of E-waste for fabricating energy saving equipment and units in Colombo (South) municipal council area of Sri Lanka.

This project was implemented by the Emotional Intelligence and Life Skills Training Team (EI Life Skill Team), under the Small Grant Program of Global Environmental Fund, UNDP.

The Emotional Intelligence is working on promoting positive behavioral change using different creative approaches and it is the first non-profit organization received license from the Central Environmental Authority to collect E-waste.

They have conducted a national level short film competition called, "Be a Change Maker", Award Ceremony on E-waste Management to enhance knowledge on e-waste management, especially among school children.

The management of EI Life Skill Team says, " Even though we have completed this project few months ago, we are continuing with it in the Western Province to ensure the sustainability of our service. We look forward to expanding an island-wide service."

While E: Life Skills Team has provided training for the curriculum developers at the National Institute of Education, Sri Lanka, who have now included E-waste information into the Science curriculum.

It is also revealed that informal recycling activities such as dismantling of electrical equipment may potentially bear an increased risk of injury.

Nevertheless, it is observed that a large proportion of e-waste are still being often shredding, burning, and dismantling the products in the backyards, in Sri Lanka.

It is discovered that emissions from these recycling practices are damaging human health and the environment especially family members are directly exposed to these fumes.

Therefore it is recommended that an intervention be launched in a big way to streamlining the handling of e-waste in the country.

The e-waste associated health risks may result from direct contact with harmful materials such as lead, cadmium, chromium, brominated flame retardants or polychlorinated biphenyls through inhalation of toxic fumes as well as from accumulation of chemicals in soil, water and food.

The objective of implementing this project was to building the capacity of adolescents of five selected schools and other community groups as well as the National Institute of Education and to ascertain the social, environmental and economic aspects.

The evaluation on the project implemented concludes that it has been able to create cooperation between the participating partners and institutions and a network of collection of e-waste has been established.

According to the evaluation there were good documentary evidences of the activities carried out in achieving behavioral change of adolescent school children in handling Electrical and Electronic Waste.

According to the evaluators, some of the activities are beyond the planned program and expected outcomes. They are expected to be added to ensure the sustainability of the project.

While the evaluation concludes that the project has been able to succeed in achieving its objectives effectively it is recommended to replicate the project in other areas in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, while considering the importance of the subject.

TheEI Life Skill Team looks forward to sharing their experience with international organizations who are working on this subject -

- Asian Tribune –

Be a change Maker Award Ceremony on E-waste Management
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