QC Barangay pre-celebrate World Day for Safety and Health at Work with E-Waste Collection

A day before the international community celebrate the “World Day for Safety and Health at Work” on April 28, Barangay Phil-Am in Quezon City, in collaboration with the “Safe PCB and E-Waste Management Project” key stakeholders, DENR-Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB), United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the EcoWaste Coalition, kicks off a collection event for waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), also known as e-waste.

Aimed at promoting the safe management of WEEE, the event echoes the international celebration’s call for “A Safe and Healthy Future of Work”, specifically for informal handlers and dismantlers of WEEE.

“We hope that this humble effort to collect and safely manage e-wastes will have its share, no matter how small, in advancing occupational safety and health for the e-waste dismantling communities and the Philippine environment,” expressed  Simplicio E.J. Hermogenes, Barangay Chairman of Phil-Am.

According to the “Safe PCB and E-Waste Management Project” document, “the bulk of WEEE end up in the unregulated informal sector which are oblivious to the health and environmental health hazards associated with its improper handling.”

For his part, Acting Project Coordinator for WEEE Management IEC, Jover Larion of EcoWaste Coalition, said that “promoting safe and ecological management of WEEEs will protect workers, the rest of the society as well as the environment against adverse effects caused by improper handling, storage, transport, dismantling, recycling or disposal that can cause release of toxic substances from such hazardous waste.”

“Polybrominated diphenyl ethers or PBDEs, as an example, are persistent organic pollutants (POPs) used as flame retardants in old electronic & electrical products, which can be released through improper dismantling of WEEEs and can result to serious effects to thyroid, liver and kidney, and possibly even cancer, among other health issues,” he added.

Other hazardous substances found in WEEEs are heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury, POPs like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and other chemicals of concern.  Byproduct POPs such as dioxins and furans are also formed when WEEE components are burned or incinerated.

A motley crew of e-wastes from Phil-Am residents as well as from nearby villages, comprising of  TV and computer monitors, cell phones, laptops, printers, servers, modem routers, appliances and other gadgets and electrical products that have reached the end of their useful lives, were collected during the activity.

These collected WEEEs were to be transported by a government-accredited entity to their facility in Laguna for proper treatment or management.

The Phil-Am WEEE collection event today started with a two-hour morning program for video presentations and forums to raise the awareness of participants about WEEE as well as about POPs and the government effort to safely manage POPs and WEEEs through the Safe PCB and E-Waste Management Project.

The said project is funded by the Global Environment Facility and being implemented in the Philippines by UNIDO with the DENR-EMB as its lead executing agency.




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