Wednesday, February 20, 2008


National Geographic had a really interesting article in their January edition on the ultimate fate of high-tech electronics sold in the U.S. and Europe: quite a lot of it gets shipped (or smuggled) to China, India or Africa where people burn the components and salvage the scrap metals. As usual with NG, the words are good but the pictures tell the real story.

Needless to say, burning and poking around through old electronics is an extremely hazardous occupation. Click on the pictures link above and then go to the 9th pic and you'll see one of the scariest photographs I've seen in a while. Here's the caption:
In a poor suburb of New Delhi, India, where informal e-waste processing is a common household business, a man pours molten lead smelted from circuit boards. His family uses the same pots for cooking—a potentially deadly practice.

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