Recycling of e-waste about controlling mercury - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

Recycling of e-waste about controlling mercury

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Environmentally Challenged: By Brian Troutman

As of today it is against the law to place your unwanted electronics in the trash.

According to the state law, all e-scrap (cell phones to televisions) must now be taken to collection sites.

From there, e-waste will be taken to one of over 1,000 electronic management companies in the nation where it is broken down and the plastic, metal and even the mercury found inside can often be recycled.

What's the big concern?

Mercury, lead and other hazardous elements found in electronics are causing concern nationwide. Several states have launched e-waste prevention programs.

More specifically, mercury levels in South Carolina continue to increase. Experts believe much of the mercury problem is due to storm water runoff from landfills, dump sites and illegal trash burns.

Mercury in fish is a concern in South Carolina with consumption limits or restrictions advised on 10 types of fish or more in most of our freshwater rivers and streams.

In severe cases, too much mercury in the body or exposure to mercury can cause a religious experience - you will meet your maker.

Mercury affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord and can cause impairment of vision; pain around joints, feet, hands and mouth; can cause speech impairment; muscle failure; skin rashes; mood swings; memory loss and a larger variety of mental illnesses.

 

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