There are numerous accounts of laborers, most of them children, who are given the task of sorting through this waste for salvageable scrap material. On a daily basis, children are exposed to hazardous materials such as lead, cadmium, and mercury from breaking open electronics equipment. Most of them are unaware of these risks, and continue to salvage undeterred in order to make about $2 a day from extracted copper. To make their tasks easier, some children toss large amounts of equipment into bonfires in order to melt the plastic and expose metals. These fires release a multitude of toxic fumes that are both harmful to them and the surrounding environment. However, despite all of these risks and combined with a genuine lack of knowledge, laborers scavenge these dumps day in and day out, hoping to find small pieces of scrap for their wage.
With dumping going on around the world, one may ask, who is responsible for the importation of all of this waste, and why can it not be contained domestically? The answer to that question cannot be obtained with ease, as it has proved very difficult of effectively trace “e-waste” back to its source. In a recent ABC news that chronicled a day of one of these child laborers, the worker was said to have “held up