| Abstract|| |
Generation of municipal solid waste as well as electrical and electronic waste (e-waste) is rapidly increasing in the developing countries, especially in the electronic manufacturing industries which have seen some technological growth within a short timeframe in Malaysia. The purpose of this study is to find out the factors that contribute to the generation of e-waste and to present the current scenario of Malaysia's e-waste management system. The data were collected from the review of various scientific journals and the Department of Environment Malaysia (DOE) which were published and available in online currently. It was observed that recently in Malaysia, the generation of e-waste is one of the environmental problems in Malaysia. Among other factors, besides industries, use pattern for households, business entities, and institutions are the main contributors of the increased e-waste generated in Malaysia. DOE reported that, the ratio of bought and possessed electronic appliances among the respondents in Malaysia is not balance. The rate of discarding is higher than possessed rate. Remarkably, in television, 95.6% of the television sets currently possessed are bought from shops, but only 33% of respondents were using it up to now, whereas 62.60% of people are not using their televisions and they have discarded it. Consequently, the discarded rate of other electronic appliances is also almost in the same trend by households, business entities, and institutions in Malaysia. E-waste containing a lot of dangerous chemicals and metals such as Mercury, Lead, Cadmium, Zinc, and Chromium causes diseases such as brain disorders, kidney, renal, and neurological damage, thus leading to even deaths, learning disabilities, lung damage, mental retardation, behavioral problems, hearing impairment, fragility of the bones, and high blood pressure. It is, therefore, recommended that government should develop the 3Rs initiatives to reduce, reuse, and recycle of e-waste. At the same time, create awareness among the society to prevent it from the negative impact on the environment through pollution and public health hazards.
Keywords: Electronic appliance, electronic waste, environment, public health and Malaysia
|How to cite this article:|
Abul Kalam Azad M D, Islam MA, Ismail Hossin M M. Generation of electronic-waste and its impact on environment and public health in Malaysia. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2017;10:1123-7
|How to cite this URL:|
Abul Kalam Azad M D, Islam MA, Ismail Hossin M M. Generation of electronic-waste and its impact on environment and public health in Malaysia. Ann Trop Med Public Health [serial online] 2017 [cited 2019 Dec 7];10:1123-7. Available from: http://www.atmph.org/text.asp?2017/10/5/1123/217524
| Introduction|| |
E-products might be characterized as all optional electronic products including PCs, stimulation gadget hardware, telephone sets/cell phones, and different things, for example, TVs and coolers, regardless of whether sold, gave, or disposed of by their unique proprietors. Electronic waste (E-waste) is a common, casual name for used electronic items nearing the finish of their “valuable life “ or shelf life.” Computers, television sets, video camera recorders, videotapes, tape recorders, radio sets, stereos, copiers, and fax machines are normal electronic items and even mobile telephone handsets. A significant number of these items can be reused, renovated, or recycled where necessary. Shockingly, electronics disposals are some of the major components of our country's waste stream, especially solid waste. An estimation of global generation of e-waste gives an annual production of 20–25 million tonne. Malaysian waste generation has been increasing drastically where solid waste generation was estimated to increase from about 9.0 million tonnes in 2000 to about 10.9 million tonnes in 2010, to about 12.8 million tonnes in 2015, and finally, to about 15.6 million tonnes in 2020. Malaysian e-waste was estimated to be about 652 909 tonnes in 2006 and was estimated to increase to about 706 000 tonnes in 2010 and finally to about 1.2 million tonnes in 2020 which may have concomitant public health hazard to the society and the country at large.
In 2008, an e-waste catalog for Malaysia was developed under the financing from Ministry of Environment, Japan. The review found that Malaysia created 1.1 million tons of e-waste in 2008 according to the Department of Environment Malaysia, 2008., In Malaysia, The Department of Environment (DOE) is maintaining e-waste since 2005 to date. The DOE which is housed within the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment is responsible for the planning and enforcement of regulatory requirements related to e-waste. Although there are no direct regulations to deal with e-waste, the management of e-waste was incorporated within the environmental quality (Scheduled Waste) Regulations 2005 and the environmental quality (Prescribed Premises) (Treatment, Disposal Facilities for Scheduled Waste) Regulations, 1989 (control on collection, treatment, recycling, and disposal of scheduled waste including e-waste). The “Guidelines for Classification of Used Electrical and Electronic Equipment in Malaysia” was issued by the DOE in January 2008 [Table 2]. It is helping to all stakeholders to identify and classify the used products to maintain and dispose the e-waste. The rule provides a rundown of the sorts of electrical and e-waste which may contain the dangerous mixtures or hazardous materials. To improve the situation, the DOE is therefore working on a draft regulation to manage e-waste, which will be known as the Environmental Quality (Recycling and Disposal of End-of-Life Electrical and Electronic Equipment) Regulations. The reason for the legislation is to make it an obligatory prerequisite for makers and manufacturers to plan and ensure that there are limited perilous segments in e-products and encourage simplicity of reusing including the necessity for manufacturers and makers to reclaim e-waste for reusing or transfer and safe disposal. [Table 1] and [Table 3] shows some of the e-products and hazardous metals and elements they contained.
|Table 2: Number of Department of environment-licensed e-waste contractors according to states |
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| Current Electronic-Waste Management System in Malaysia|| |
The expanding measure of e-waste generated in Malaysia [Table 3], combined with the high potential outcomes of e-waste being foreign made from different nations interest for an appropriate e-squander administration system is set up particularly as there are proof of unpredictable dumping and despicable transfer of e-waste, thus resulting in the introduction of the first e-waste law – the Environmental Quality (Scheduled Wastes) Regulations 2005 – in August 2005. After implementation of the e-waste law in Malaysia, it is maintaining the disposal or recovery facilities by giving a license according to recovery category.
All these premises are operated by private companies [Table 2]. These recycling companies collect e-waste from nonhouseholders (such as industries and large institutions) based on yearly contract; as such these companies are also known as “e-waste contractors.” Out of 107 e-waste reusing contractors (January 21, 2008), 96 are included in halfway recovery which alludes to the way toward gathering, isolating, disassembling, and pulverizing of the gear, (where the recouped materials will require promote treatment before definite items are delivered); while the rest of the 11 organizations are included in full recuperation handle which alludes to the entire chain of procedures beginning from destroying of e-waste and recuperation of valuable metals, up to conclusive transfer of treated perilous.,,,,
| Impacts of Electronic-Waste Hazard on Environment and Public Health|| |
E-waste or e-waste is one of the current environmental and public health development issues in the world. E-waste includes a large number of parts, some containing lethal substances that can adverse effect human well-being and the earth if not dealt with appropriately.,, In Malaysia, e-waste administration expects more prominent essentialness not just because of the era of its own e-waste additionally in view of the dumping of e-waste from created nations. This is combined with the Malaysia's absence of suitable framework and methods for its transfer and reusing.
EEEs are made of a multitude of components, some containing toxic substances that have an adverse impact on human health and the environment if not handled properly. Often, these hazards arise due to the improper recycling and disposal processes used. It can have serious repercussions for those in proximity to places where e-waste is recycled or burnt.,,
| Environmental Pollution|| |
E-waste is a major factor which directly influencing to increase air pollution, Water pollution, land pollution, and life threat for wildlife. Disposal of these e-wastes without appropriate measures can cause environmental pollution. Lack of awareness or lack of cautionary information for handling or reusing of these expiry products can leave people exposed to health hazards. E-waste is threatening the soil contents and causing land less productive to produce crops. Problems begin if this e-waste dumped in landfill sites or if they are dumped illegally  Either the law is not in place or not enforced to take proper disposal measures as well as the lack of system or institutions to monitor the dumping of electronic goods. The country is blessed by many rivers, rainwater is reaching the underground. If the substances dumped are seeping into the soil the aquifer of water can be contaminated with lethal chemicals.
Exposure routes can vary dependent on the substance and recycling process. In general, exposure to the hazardous components of e-waste is most likely to arise through inhalation, ingestion, and dermal contact. In addition to direct occupational (formal or informal) exposure, people can come into contact with e-waste materials, and associated pollutants, through contact with contaminated soil, dust, air, water, and through food sources, including meat.,,,,,,,, Children, fetuses, pregnant women, elderly people, people with disabilities, workers in the informal e-waste recycling sector, and other vulnerable populations face additional exposure risks [Table 4]. Children are a particularly sensitive group because of additional routes of exposure (e.g., breastfeeding and placental exposures), high-risk behaviors (e.g., hand-to-mouth activities in early years and high risk-taking behaviors in adolescence), and their changing physiology (e.g., high intakes of air, water, and food, and low rates of toxin elimination).,,, The children of e-waste recycling workers also face take-home contamination from their parents' clothes and skin and direct high-level exposure if recycling is taking place in their homes.
|Table 4: Health hazards: From e-waste containing mercury, lead, cadmium |
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There are much metal which have developmental neurotoxic effect indirectly or directly exposure to the environment. For example, Pb is ostensibly the most-concentrated formative neurotoxicant and shockingly is additionally one of the real toxicants in e-squander. An old cathode ray tube (CRT) TV contains around 1.5–2 kg Pb, and a CRT PC screen contains around 0.5 kg and Pb has additionally been utilized as a part of bind in printed circuit sheets and different segments. Because Hg is used in laptop monitors, cold cathode fluorescent lamps, cell phones, and printed circuit boards (e.g., switches, relays), improper recycling of e-waste may release Hg in its elemental vapor form into the environment. In bodies of water, bacteria can transform inorganic Hg to organic form (i.e., methylmercury [MeHg]), and fish bioaccumulate MeHg. Eating MeHg contaminated fish is the primary route of exposure in the general population, but people living in e-waste recycling sites may be exposed to both inorganic and organic Hg. Cd is used in nickel-cadmium batteries, surface mount devices chip resistors, infrared detectors, and semiconductor chips  Hexavalent chromium Cr (VI) is used in metal coatings of some electronic devices for corrosion protection. It is a known human carcinogen after occupational inhalation exposure, but its toxicity in fetuses and children after environmental exposure is largely unknown [Table 4].,
| Conclusion|| |
Among the rapid economic growing countries, Malaysia is a model in Southeast Asia with its vast development in the past 3 decades; it has not been without its detrimental effects on environment. There is no doubt that establishment of industries and improves lifestyle with the dependent on technology; however, it is generating e-waste so rapidly. In respect of the environment and public health, Malaysia is really so concerned about e-waste generation in the country but it is still challenging managing and maintenance of a huge solid waste as well as e-waste. Therefore, it becomes necessary to take immediate consideration otherwise the effect on the environment and public health will be so massive that it may be unmanageable and beyond remedy. E-waste environment and public health are closely related for its negative effects on the ecosystem, biological system in human, animal, and other living organisms. The rate of awareness of the hazards of e-waste generation is very below among the members of the society in Malaysia and globally. It is therefore recommended that government should embark on public enlightenment and awareness creation on the dangers of e-waste generation and how to dispose it. The 3Rs initiative of reduce, reuse, and recycle should be championed through the manufacturers and general members of the society. E-waste should be a topical issue that is discussed in public and various forum as no much is been done in that direction.
Financial support and sponsorship
This study was financially supported by the International Islamic University Malaysia's Research Management Centre bearing the grant number (RIGS- 16-319-0483).
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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Mohd Aminul Islam
Department of Computational and Theoretical Sciences, Kulliyyah of Science, International Islamic University Malaysia
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
[Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4]