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Greenpeace condemns use of WEEE in India and China

Greenpeace have found evidence of toxic chemicals being released into the workplace and other surrounding environments at electronic waste (e-waste) recycling plants in China and India.

The damning report published last week, is based on results from analysing dust from workshops, wastewater, and soil and sediment from local rivers.

Its scientific investigation found that at all stages of e-waste processing, toxic chemicals, including heavy metals, are released.

Greenpeace international scientist Dr Kevin Brigden who conducted the research, said: "The data reinforces the need for the electronics industry to eliminate the use of harmful substances in their products at the design stage and take responsibility for their products at the end of their lifecycle."

The report was released a few days after the European Directive on Waste from Electronics and Electrical Equipment (WEEE) came into effect on August 13. The directive, which regulates the handling of e-waste in the EU, makes producers responsible for disposing of their products. The report will highlight the importance of the WEEE directive, which was due to be fully implemented by January 2006 but has now been delayed to June 2006.

Findings from the report also suggest that hazardous e-waste is being illegally exported despite an EU ban on the export of hazardous waste to developing countries.

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