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[greenyes] e-waste information --more answers.
Below are your 4 questions that below each I have provided some info.  If you
have anyquestions about the studies I have many of them in my possession.
Antoinette "Toni" Stein, PhD
800 Magnolia Street
Menlo Park, CA 94025

Telephone:  650-853-0314
cell:              650-823-7662

 1.  * e-waste has become one of the fastest-growing segments of the country's
solid waste stream, and technology products now account for as much as 40
percent of the lead in U.S. landfills, according to EPA.  [Question:  Does
anyone have data on how long it takes lead to enter the water or air from
There was a study done by the Consortium on Green Design and Manufacturing, Eric
Masanet, at UC Berkeley for the 2002 IEEE e-waste conference entitled,
"Assessing Public Exposure to silver contaminated Groundwater from lead free
solder: An upper bound, risk based approach, that showed that it would take 100
years for silver levels to leach out from silver based solder and reach
unacceptable groundwater levels.  The study used a very simple model.  You may
consider tweaking that model to carefully assess the time it takes for lead
solder to leach out of a landfill and reach unaccpetable groundwater
contamination levels.   Please note that any such calculation depends on the
parameter of the model used such as the landfill size, the landfill liner
parameters, the number of holes per acre, the leakage fraction , the distance it
is to a well, the annual infiltration of water, the annual leachate leakage, and
the unacceptable leachate lead concentration.

2.  * Environmentalists say that computers, televisions and other advanced
devices contain neurotxins and carcinogens such as lead and beryllium metal
"that are leaching into waterways and entering the air through burning or dust."
[Questions:  Who is the most authoritative primary source on this subject, since
none is cited?  Which environmentalists do you think she relied upon?]

I have no idea what she used but here is a list of publication papers:

  Yang, Gordon, C.C., "Environmental threats fo discarded picture tubes and
printed circuit boards.", Journal of Hazardous Materials, 34,1993, 235-243.

  Musson, Stephen E. , Jang, Yong-Chul, Townsend, Timothy G.  and Chung,
Il-Hyun, "characterization of Lead Leachability  from Cathode Ray Tubes Using
the Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure," Environmnetal Science &
Technology, 34/20 (2000): 4376-4381

  Smith, Edwin B. III, and Swanger, Kristine,L. "Do Lead Free Solders Really
Help the Environment?"  SMT conference

  Woodrow, Thomas, A., "Reliability and Leachate Testing of Lead-Free Solder
Joints", Proceeding of the International Conference on Lead-Free Electronic
Components and Assemblies, San Jose, CA, May 1-2, 2002

Characterization of MSW Incinerator Ash, Amalendu Bagchi and Dennis
Sopcich.Journal of Environmental Engineering, vo. 115, No. 2,  April 1989.

Sources of Metals in Municipal Incinerator Emissions, Stephen L. Law and Glen
Gordon, Environmental Scienc & Technology, American Chemical Society, 1979

Chemical Characterization of Ash residue from Municipal Waste Incinerator, Timmi
Fadiora.  Innovative Technologies for Site Remediation and Hazardous Waste
Management, Proceedings of the National Conference, Pittsburg, July, 23-26,
1995, 702-709.

Emissions from the Incineration of Electronics Industry Waste, E.S. Stewart and
P.M. Lemieux (from US EPA), International Symposium on Electronics & the
Environment, IEEE (and IAER) May 19-22, Boston, MA, 2003.

Characterization of Products Containing Lead and Cadmium in Municipal Solid
Waste in the United States 1970 to 2000, US EPA, Office of Solid Waste,
Washington, DC, January 1989, EPA/530-SW-89-015B.

Gordon Yang reported results on a regulatory toxicity testing (TCLP) study in
1993 and found that picture tubes for color and B/W TV sets and many display
tubes for personal computers were hazardous according to RCRA because the
testing resulted in leach concentrations that exceeded the thresholds for Zn and
Pb.  Additionally, Yang tested and reported that printed circuit boards from
color and black and white TVs were considered hazardous also because the
leachate concentrations (TCLP) exceeded the regulatory RCRA thresholds for Cd,
Pb, and Zn.[i]   Other scientific findings showing e-waste to pose a threat to
human health and the environment:CRTs:In 1999, the American team of researchers,
Townsend et al. tested CRTs from personal computers and found that they exceeded
the TCLP regulatory threshold for lead.[ii]  Additionally DTSC who operates its
own Hazardous Materials Laboratory in Berkeley California, reported in its
Finding of Emergency for the Emergency Regulations for Cathode Ray Tubes stated
that, "CRTs are currently classified as hazardous waste under both State and
federal law. They are identified as a hazardous waste under State law due to the
levels of both soluble lead pursuant to Title 22 of the California Code of
Regulations (22 CCR), section 66261.24(a)(2) and insoluble lead pursuant to 22
CCR, section 66261.24(a)(3). Discarded CRTs are a hazardous waste under federal
law because they exceed the levels for soluble lead pursuant to title 40 of the
Code of Federal Regulations (40 CFR), section 261.24 (there is no total lead
criteria in federal hazardous waste law). Because CRTs contain significant
levels of soluble lead, it is not safe to dispose of CRTs in non-hazardous waste
landfills or the general environment (in ditches, farmers fields, etc.)"
[iii],[iv]Printed circuit Boards:Additionally other studies on the toxicity
characteristics of printed circuit boards from electronics exist in the
literature.  These studies show that printed circuit boards like CRTs posses
toxicity characteristics.  For PCB's the toxicity testing has shown that the
lead tin solder used to interconnect and coat the boards and components together
is a cause for soluble and total metal toxicity.  Woodrow reported that tin/lead
solder joints leach amounts of lead well in excess of that allowed by Federal
law.[v]  Likewise Ed Smith found lead tin solder to fail toxicity tests for
lead.[vi] Most recently there have been studies showing that printed circuit
boards are hazardous and when tested exceed the RCRA and California toxicity
characteristic threshold for lead because of the lead tin solder used to
interconnect components onto the circuit boards.  [vii](BFR's)  Additionally
toxic issues have been raised regarding flame retardants in plastic base plates
of printed circuit boards. [viii]  Studies have revealed that the flame
retardants are not completely bound to products and may enter the
environment.[ix],[x]  Some studies show that the flame retardants outgas during
use and are released into the air during recycling procedures.  Increased
quantities of these toxic compounds have been measured in breast milk, water,
animal and human blood and tissue.[xi] [xii] These toxic compounds are of
concern because they are endocrine disruptors and have been correlated to breast
cancer in certain locations such as the Bay area in California.   Additionally
there have been concerns raised about The formation of brominated dioxins/furans
by the incineration of bromine-containing waste.[xiii]  They wrote:

"Uncertainty on waste mass stream amounts and types of BFRs combined with recent
legislation changes for waste incineration [3] and specially the new WEEE
recycling directive makes BFR-containing waste handling very challenging. There
are couple of major concerns in thermal treatment of BFR containing waste, which
are potential for the emission of ozone depleting substances (ODS) such as
methyl bromide [4], and the possible formation of brominated analogues of
dioxins and furans, PBDD/Fs (poly brominated dibenzo -p- dioxins and - furans).
Finally, bromine-containing flue gases are very corrosive and, as for the whole
halogen family have a tendency to form salts."

3.  *  "Americans dispose of 2 million tone of electronic products a year --
including 50 million computers and 130 million cell phones --and by 2010, the
nation will be discarding 400 million electronic units annually, according to
the International Association of Electronics Recyclers."  [Question:  Can anyone
provide some perspective on this association, their membership, programs and

Here is some historical perspective on IAER: IAER has a website you should look
at.  Most of their documents and information is only available for a fee.
They sponsor with IEEE the Electronics Recycling SUMMIT®  a major event on
electronics recycling, said to draw a large attendance from all the sectors.
This Summit was initially an outgrowth of US EPA's Common Sense Initiative in
the early 90's to come up with infrastructural solutions and consensus on the

4.  *   While the article mentions state legislation from "Maine to California"
and references Ted Smith of the Silcon Valley Toxics Coalition saying federal
officials could do more to make electronics more environmentally benign, nothing
is said about legislative proposals being introduced in 2005.  [Question:  Does
GRRN or the e-waste campaign have a legislative update for 2005?]

California Against Waste has a spreadsheet list on legislative efforts for the
US and International for 2002 and 2003 -free to the public up until 2003, you
may want to review that to start   And Raymond
Communications provides updated information that is very accurate and detailed
for a fee at

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