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The Price of Recycling Old Laptops: Toxic Fumes in Thailand’s Lungs

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The Price of Recycling Old Laptops: Toxic Fumes in Thailand’s Lungs

The e-waste industry is booming in Southeast Asia, frightening residents worried for their health. Despite a ban on imports, Thailand is a center of the business.

By Hannah Beech and Ryn Jirenuwat

 

ew.jpg

File photo

 

KOH KHANUN, Thailand — Crouched on the ground in a dimly lit factory, the women picked through the discarded innards of the modern world: batteries, circuit boards and bundles of wires.

 

They broke down the scrap — known as e-waste — with hammers and raw hands. Men, some with faces wrapped in rags to repel the fumes, shoveled the refuse into a clanking machine that salvages usable metal.

 

As they toiled, smoke spewed over nearby villages and farms. Residents have no idea what is in the smoke: plastic, metal, who knows? All they know is that it stinks and they feel sick.

 

Full story: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/08/world/asia/e-waste-thailand-southeast-asia.html

 

-- The New York Times 2019-12-09

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More than the waste from old laptops these days is the ever-growing waste from mobile phones. These things break easily and people endlessly want the next best thing. Where are they all going? No one wants them from what I have seen. There's about 50 baht of gold supposedly in each one and who knows what else; still, getting it out of them can't be easy at all. All this modern tech in every appliance will just add more to the mess of pollution.

Edited by TooBigToFit

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Thailands toxic air has become unbearable , IMHO, fueled by old worn out diesel P/U's ,tour buses and tour vans, with shameless ,clueless disrespectful drivers...Thailand will be a destination to avoid until diesel exhaust is addressed....period

Edited by mok199
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1 hour ago, unamazedloso said:

some old ignorant guy

My whole family still does this and the neighbours = not just some old ignorant guy

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And the police help by jamming up the roads with the road blocks looking for a kid with no licence.

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29 minutes ago, Chassa said:

My whole family still does this and the neighbours = not just some old ignorant guy

Hope you don't mind me asking why you don't have a word with them yourself or is it deaf ear syndrome??

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What about the no burning of sugar cane ,or that if they present burnt cane they will only get 300 baht per tonne instead of 700,yet already 3 big burns near me,and pool full of black snow.

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9 hours ago, TooBigToFit said:

Where are they all going? No one wants them from what I have seen. There's about 50 baht of gold supposedly in each one and who knows what else; still, getting it out of them can't be easy at all. All this modern tech in every appliance will just add more to the mess of pollution.

How can gold ore from mines yield grams per tonne, but getting the already refined gold from appliances is so difficult? Not a challenge to your statement, just something that has perplexed me for years.

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On 12/9/2019 at 8:07 AM, mikebell said:

And the police help by jamming up the roads with the road blocks looking for a kid with no licence.

If only this were true. I've never seen police pull over riders who are CLEARLY underage. I see kids who must be younger than 6 riding with their younger siblings 3-4 to a cycle. They are heedless of any risk to themselves or others.

 

These kids most certainly don't have licenses and a check is unnecessary. Just confiscate the bike and make them walk home and explain to their parents where their bike is. It would be a good education for the kids and their parents, but is never going to happen. 

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On 12/9/2019 at 4:35 AM, webfact said:

Despite a ban on imports, Thailand is a center of the business.

Thank you mr Prayuth...you are a vely strong leader.

Edited by Youlike

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