Risking Lives to Make a Living

The world’s largest reported toxic e-waste dumping site has taken over a mangrove swamp in the middle of Accra, Ghana, where children now risk their lives to pull metals from discarded electronics.

E-waste workers can come in direct contact with lead, cadmium, chromium, brominated flame retardants, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and other harmful materials, according to WHO. Workers at the dump, many middle-school age boys, suffer from “burns, eye damage, lung and back problems … chronic nausea, anorexia, debilitating headaches and respiratory problems,” according to the Guardian

Nick Kirkpatrick weaves together sobering images of the problem from Valentino Bellini’s Bit Rot project with recent stats and reporting from The Atlantic, The Guardian and others.

Meanwhile, the piles of waste keep growing in our tech-fueled society.
Washington Post

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