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Issue 25
, 2010
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Radiation exposes India’s laxity in dealing with e-waste

Source: Deccan Herald, Date: , 2010

And then there is what came into the small shop owned by Deepak Jain: A piece, or pieces, of metal blamed for an alarming radiation scare this month that hospitalised seven people (one of whom died two days ago) and caused the police to temporarily cordon off an area barely 14 km from parliament. Some experts declared it one of the most troubling cases of radiation exposure in recent years. Critics have blamed the importing of discarded computer equipment, known as toxic e-waste, for long-term chronic health problems among workers in scrapyards, as well as environmental damage. authorities say the country’s guidelines on importing scrap meet international standards, yet enforcement and monitoring is inadequate. A plan to install radiation monitors at ports and airports is behind schedule.“I admit that all of it has not yet been deployed,” science and technology minister Prithviraj Chavan, said. “The only time they have taken action is when there is a crisis or a worst case,” said Ravi Agarwal, founder of Toxics Link, a nongovernmental group focused on the waste trade.