E-Waste of NON-ROHS Compliance Products Essay Example

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E-Waste of NON-ROHS Compliance Products

Abstract — This paper addresses technology revolving on ROHS. It presents ROHS and also illustrates components associated with ROHS. Moreover, the paper discusses substances placed into this category and also analyses directive guiding utilisation of ROHS.

INTRODUCTION

Advancement of technology has resulted in numerous business and companies introducing new technologies. The obsolete technologies are not important for an organisation and they are seen as waste. E-waste is the common terminology that is utilised in referring to discard electronic or electrical devices. Some of these electronics and electronics emit some dangerous materials and they are required to follow certain directives to address the issue of these emissions. This has resulted in formulation and implementation of a restriction of hazardous substances (RoHs). The aim of this report is to analyse e-waste of non-RoHs compliance products.

PURPOSE AND HISTORY OF THE TECHNOLOGY

ROHS is a European Union directive, which directs utilisation of some compounds in electronic and electrical equipment. Some of the restricted substances include mercury, lead, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) and polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE). The directive became effective since July 1, 2006 [4]. The aim of the directive is to address environmental concerns associated with electronic and electrical products that are produced with the restricted substance [6]. However, there are some products that are exempted from this directive. The directive is aimed at the electrical and electronic equipments and the packaging of the product is not included [1]. Some products are sold as lead free but this information is not the same as stating that the product is ROHS [7]. However, it should be understood there are additional substances and hence a removal of a single substance does not make a product adhere to ROHS directives.

However, the obsolete products that are non-ROHS has become a major issue and therefore appropriate measures should be in place to address the issue [6] [2]. Technology that was based on non-ROHS features have become many in the disposal sites and have become an environmental problem [4]. These products are associated with numerous diseases and also it affects the environment through deposit of these heavy metals on plants and people [1]. Due to environmental and human complications, numerous governments across the world have advocated of exclusion of the restricted products from being included in the development of the products [7].

THEORY OF OPERATION

The ROHS approach is aimed at encouraging new technologies that do not affect immensely the society and the environment. E-waste of non-ROHS compliance products should has been handled in a manner that prevents the employees from being affected by the restricted products [4]. Countries and political regions have developed centres and regions whereby these products are recycled effectively [1]. One of such recycling plant is located in Guiyu, China whereby more than 150,000 e-waste workers are employed and they work through a 16-hour in disassembling the older electronic equipments especially the computers and recapturing important parts and metals with the aim of re-using them [6]. Moreover, the e-waste employs utilise numerous approaches towards ensuring the recaptured products are free from components that can contribute to affecting the environment [7].

THE PERVASIVENESS OF THE TECHNOLOGY IN INDUSTRY

Advancement in technology has resulted in introduction of new products which makes the older products to become obsolete. For example, the computer processors become obsolete faster because new software and programs cannot be supported by older processors. Therefore, the process becomes waste products and should be disposed in an environment friendly manner [7]. Other products within a computer can be recycled and reused but other products are not recycled [4]. The electrical and electronic products are handled differently in that the plastic cases are crashed while the electrical boards are dipped into acid to dissolve lead and other toxic materials [1]. However, the entire process of collecting and disposing this toxic material is another issue since some regions, especially the developing countries, have not implement effective measures of addressing such problems [6]. Therefore, non-ROHS products have become a major issue in developing countries that appreciates products that are cheaper and second hand electronic products and therefore it is imperative to employ the ROHS directive [7].

According to the directive of 2006, the ROHS has created an environment whereby electronic and electrical products are manufactured that does not affect the environment immensely [6]. It is based on the principle that non toxic substances such as lead should not be used in manufacturing the electronics and electrical products. Since 2006, numerous manufacturers and industries have introduced and utilised the new directives in ensuring the products follows the ROHS directive [3]. These manufacturers and producers indicate their compliance on the packaging aiming to utilise it has a marketing strategy [1]. Consumers and environmentalists understands the benefit of utilising ROHS directive based products and therefore more producers aim to produce electronic and electrical produces and thus numerous e-waste associated with non-ROHS compliance products [7].

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS AND TRENDS

Development of technologies has resulted in manufacturers and producers to produce products that comply with ROHS directive [5]. From computer processors to electrical sockets, the manufacturers have introduced new methods that address original issues that were based on toxic based substances [1]. For example, some of the restricted substances were utilised in ensuring the products are heat resistant and also fire resistant [6]. Advancement in technology has resulted in devising of new measures to ensure the electrical and electronic products operate in originally manner but utilisation of substances that are environment friendly.

Initially, some electrical and electronic products were exempted from the directive but some of the companies producing these products have ensured all products are ROHS compliant [6]. The waste products from such technologies can be recycled and reused easily without affecting the e-waste workers and also could preserve the environment [4]. For example, batteries had initially been exempted from the directive but manufacturers of batteries have appreciated the importance of the directive and they have utilised the directive in designing and developing the new products [6]. However, the still problem is addressing the products that are not compliant with the directive. For example, dipping the waste products in acid is the commonly utilised method but the method also has side effects especially in disposing the already used acid [1]. The acid utilised in dissolving the lead becomes a major concern to the environment and therefore utilisation of ROHS directive would help in sustaining the environment [7].

COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS AGAINST ALTERNATIVE METHODS/TECHNOLOGIES

Technologies based on non-ROHS and technologies based on ROHS have different benefits to the society and environment and also have come weaknesses [1]. Non-ROHS electrical and electronic products are comparatively cheaper and technology behind its operation is well known when compared with ROHS compliant based technology [8]. Moreover, numerous manufacturers have the knowledge and resources that are required in ensuring products based on non-ROHS [4]. However, few organisations can produce electrical and electronic products based on ROHS because the technology is still developing [6]. Moreover, sourcing of alternative substances to the restricted substances is another problem.

The e-waste non-ROHS compliant products are dangerous to the environment when compared to products, which are e-waste ROHS compliant products [3]. It is easier to dispose, recycle, and reuse ROHS compliant products when compared to alternative e-wastes [4]. Therefore, it is imperative for manufacturers to incorporate technologies based on ROHS directive in ensuring e-wastes are environmental friendly and also can easily be recycled [1].

CONCLUSION

E-wastes are electronic and electrical products that are no longer useful or have been overtaken by technological advancement. The directive by EU in 2006 that some substances should not be utilised in production of electrical and electronic products is important in addressing the effect of such products in the environment and also in the society. In addition, the restriction on utilisation of the substances should be extended to other products such as batteries and the technology should be employed across the world. Moreover, packaging and other related products that are not electrical or electronic in nature should be included in categorising them as ROHS compliant. Such an approach would be beneficial to the technological world.

REFERENCES

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  2. K. Hieronymi, R. Kahhat, and E. Williams. E-waste Management. London: Routledge, 2012.

  3. K. Hiltz. 2011 A/E/P and Environmental Consulting Industry Outlook. New York: ZweigWhite, 2010.

  4. O. Leung, S. Duzgoren-Aydin, K. Cheung, and M. Wong, “Heavy Metals Concentrations of Surface Dust from e-Waste Recycling and Its Human Health Implications in Southeast China,” Environmental Science & Technology, vol. 42, no. 7, pp. 2674–80, 2008.

  5. S. Morgan. Waste, Recycling and Reuse. London: Evans Brothers, 2009.

  6. S. Wath, P. Dutt, and T. Chakrabarti. “E-Waste scenario in India, its management and implications,” Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, vol. 172, pp. 249-262, 2011.

  7. C. Yuan, H. Zhang, G. McKenna, C. Korzeniewski, and J. Li. 2007. “Experimental Studies on Cryogenic Recycling of Printed Circuit Board,” International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, vol. 34, pp. 657–666, 2007.

  8. K. Zhang. Recycling of Electronic Waste II: Proceedings of the Second Symposium. London: John Wiley & Sons, 2011.