From Mongabay.com:

In Agbogbloshie, a slum outside the capital city of Accra, Ghana, tons of electronic waste lies smoldering in toxic piles. Children make their way through this dangerous environment, desperate to strip even a few ounces of copper, aluminum, brass, and zinc from worn-out electronics originating from the United States and Europe.

“The smell alone will drive all but the most desperate away, but many are so desperate they persevere despite the obvious dangers. It is a very tough thing to witness,” explains Dr. Kwei Quartey, a Ghanaian author and physician, in a recent mongabay.com interview.

Electronic waste (e-waste), or worn-out electrical equipment, includes television sets, computers, phones, personal electronic devices, and refrigerators.

“I visited Agbogbloshie in June,” says Dr. Quartey, “I was born and raised in Accra before this ghetto became the de facto dumping ground for the west’s electronic waste. I decided to feature it in my latest novel Children of the Street because Agbogbloshie needs more attention— not less.”

According to Deborah McGrath, a Biology professor at Sewanee: the University of the South with expertise in biogeochemistry, nearly three percent of e-waste is composed of toxins including lead, arsenic, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, and mercury. Mercury and lead are particularly dangerous neurotoxins that bioaccumulate in children’s bodies over time.

In Agbogbloshie, a slum outside the capital city of Accra, Ghana, tons of electronic waste lies smoldering in toxic piles. Children make their way through this dangerous environment, desperate to strip even a few ounces of copper, aluminum, brass, and zinc from worn-out electronics originating from the United States and Europe.

“The smell alone will drive all but the most desperate away, but many are so desperate they persevere despite the obvious dangers. It is a very tough thing to witness,” explains Dr. Kwei Quartey, a Ghanaian author and physician, in a recent mongabay.com interview.

Electronic waste (e-waste), or worn-out electrical equipment, includes television sets, computers, phones, personal electronic devices, and refrigerators.

“I visited Agbogbloshie in June,” says Dr. Quartey, “I was born and raised in Accra before this ghetto became the de facto dumping ground for the west’s electronic waste. I decided to feature it in my latest novel Children of the Street because Agbogbloshie needs more attention— not less.”

According to Deborah McGrath, a Biology professor at Sewanee: the University of the South with expertise in biogeochemistry, nearly three percent of e-waste is composed of toxins including lead, arsenic, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, and mercury. Mercury and lead are particularly dangerous neurotoxins that bioaccumulate in children’s bodies over time.

More.

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