China is to enforce a ban on the importation of 'smuggled' scrap computers from the West, in the face of a growing toxic waste scandal.
A string of reports in the Chinese press has uncovered dangerous break-up methods in the so-called e-waste industry,exposing workers, including children, to hazardous waste.
In Guangdong Province, local water supplies have been poisoned through the computer 'recycling' and some agricultural land is now too contaminated with toxic waste to farm, according to The Guardian's John Gittings. Up to 100,000 people in China are employed in the e-waste trade, he reports.
China's new moves to ban toxic computer waste follow a report published in March this year from a coalition of environmental campaigners, which estimated that anything between 50 per cent and 80 per cent of US computer waste is exported to Asia, including India and Pakistan as well as China.
The US is the most prominent opponent of the so-called Basel BAN amendment which bans the export of toxic waste by the 29 richest members of the OECD. Canada, Australia and Brazil are allies of the US in opposition.
News source: The Reg