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ELECTRONIC WASTE - EPA Needs to Better Control Harmful U.S. Exports through Stronger Enforcement and More Comprehensive Regulation

TitleELECTRONIC WASTE - EPA Needs to Better Control Harmful U.S. Exports through Stronger Enforcement and More Comprehensive Regulation
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsGAO
Prepared forChairman, Committee on Foreign Affairs, House of Representatives
Pages67
InstitutionUnited States Government Accountability Office
CityWashington D.C.
AbstractIncreasingly, U.S. consumers are recycling their old electronics to prevent the environmental harm that can come from disposal. Concerns have grown, however, that some U.S. companies are exporting these items to developing countries, where unsafe recycling practices can cause health and environmental problems. Items with cathode-ray tubes (CRT) are particularly harmful because they can contain 4 pounds of lead, a known toxin. To prevent this practice, since January 2007 EPA began regulating the export of CRTs under its CRT rule, which requires companies to notify EPA before exporting CRTs.
In this context, GAO examined (1) the fate of exported used electronics, (2) the effectiveness of regulatory controls over the export of these devices, and (3) options to strengthen federal regulation of exported used electronics. Among other things, GAO reviewed waste management surveys in developing countries, monitored e-commerce Web sites, and posed as foreign buyers of broken CRTs.
AttachmentSize
GAO_2008_US-HoRep.pdf1.74 MB
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