'Lopsided' legislation threatens India's CRT workers

India: Informal e-scrap recyclers working at cathode ray tube (CRT) recycling facilities in India, and end-users of products made from the glass, are facing an 'immense health risk' due to exposure to lead in the material, a study by NGO Toxics Link says.

More than 4.7 million CRTs were imported to India in 2012-13, Toxics Link notes. The average CRT contains around 2 kg of lead, and this waste is still primarily recycled by the informal sector. The leaded glass is commonly mixed with other glass to make new household products, thereby contaminating the entire glass recycling chain.

India′s policy on e-scrap categorises CRT glass cullet as hazardous, and demands consent before import and recycling of such products. Yet implementation is ′lopsided′, points out Ravi Agarwal, director at Toxics Link. Clearer, more specific guidelines would help resolve this issue. ′Yet equally important is the implementation process,′ Agarwal argues.

Change is urgently needed, adds Satish Sinha, associate director at Toxics Link. ′The CRT market is dwindling, but imports are not receding. This clearly points toward the possibility that countries are dumping used CRTs into India,′ she says. ′If it continues like this, India will be saddled with huge amount of toxic leaded glass.′



For more information, visit: www.toxicslink.org

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