India’s electronic junk market

Miranda Kennedy Aug 3, 2006

TEXT OF STORY

SCOTT JAGOW: Bangalore is India’s tech capital, but New Delhi has a high-tech distinction that’s not so positive. A new report says 70 percent of old computer equipment in the US and Europe winds up in New Delhi. More now from Miranda Kennedy.


MIRANDA KENNEDY: Ever wonder where you computer goes after you’ve typed your last word on its keyboard?

The new study says it gets sent to developing countries to be recycled. And India has no law against importing electronic junk. So every day, up to 900 computers and 3,500 TVs are dismantled here.

Ravi Aggarwal conducted the study with the environmental group ToxicsLink.

RAVI AGGARWAL: You can actually women, children dipping these boards into strong acid to take out the chips or to physically break them or burning the PVC coated copper wires to extract the copper. Chronic exposures to this will have long term effects on people’s health.

Since there’s no US federal law against exporting waste, so most of the junk here is American.

In New Delhi, I’m Miranda Kennedy for Marketplace.

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