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Impact of E waste recycling on Soil and Water

Our neighborhoods are at great risk of being permanently damaged by toxins from e-waste. The report “Impact of E-waste Recycling on Water and Soil” reveals toxic elements such as mercury, lead, zinc, etc., along with acids and chemicals released during e-waste recycling, are contaminating soil and water in the surrounding areas. The report - based upon lab testing of soil and water samples from Loni and Mandoli areas of Delhi’s National Capital Territory - found both water and soil to be contaminated with heavy metals and other contaminants.

Major finding of the report

           Mandoli

  •  Water Quality:
  • The lead level observed in sample no. 1 (0.52 mg/l) was almost 11 times higher than desirable limit of Indian standards (0.05ppm).
  • The mercury level observed in sample no. 3 (0.71 mg/l) was almost 710 times higher than desirable limit of Indian standards (0.001 ppm).
  •  Soil Quality:
  •  The lead levels varied from 35.17 to 3,836 ppm. The highest lead level was almost 102 times higher than the control sample.
  • The mercury levels varied from <1.0 to 8.71 ppm; 78 per cent samples were found to have high mercury levels.
  • The zinc levels in all samples varied from 1,148.04 to 6,258.72 ppm; 100 per cent of the samples were found with very high zinc levels as compared with the control sample (1,119.45 ppm).

           Loni

  •  Water Quality:
  • The observed turbidity level varied from <1.0 to 9.5 mg/l. All locations were within the desirable limit of Indian standards (10 NTU) for turbidity.
  • The mercury level observed in sample no. 6 (0.02 mg/l) was almost 20 times higher than the desirable limit of Indian standards (0.001 ppm).
  •  Soil Quality:
  • The lead levels varied from 95.74 to 4778 ppm. The highest lead level was almost 147 times higher than the control sample.
  • The cadmium levels varied from <0.1 to 5.4 ppm; 27 per cent of soil samples, that is, three samples (sample nos 5, 9 and 11) were found with high cadmium levels.
  • The nickel levels varied from 13.38 to 57.62 ppm; around 82 per cent of the samples recorded high values as compared to the control sample (18.65 ppm).
  • Mercury levels varied from 0.01 to 2.69 ppm. The highest mercury level was almost 7 times higher than the control sample.
  • The zinc levels varied from 95.6 to 688.36 ppm. The highest zinc level was almost 6 times higher than the control sample.

For detailed report Click here

Some media coverages

Hindustan: लोनीऔरमंडोलीमें-कचराकररहामिट्टी-पानीखराब

Daily Mail: Study finds e-waste polluting Capital's suburbs

The Hindu: E-waste recycling turns water, soil toxic

Times of India: Shoddy e-waste recycling poisoning soil and water

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