Impact of E-Waste on Marine Life

Mercury, lead, cadmium, and chromium are heavy metals that affect not only human beings but also cause devastating effects on animals and marine life if they end up in our waters. Because of how much technology has become popular over the last decade, everyone has some form of it, whether it be a cellphone, computer, tv, etc. When it’s time to upgrade or get rid of your devices, it is vital that you dispose of them properly by taking them to an electronic recycling center so that they do not end up harming the environment.

Metals of E-Waste Affecting Marine Life Lead

Let’s first figure out devices that contain metallic lead.

  • Alloy (with tin)
  • Batteries in circuit boards
  • The glass of cathode-ray tubes

Lead is one of the significant causes of acid rain that is harmful to aquatic environments. Unfortunately, lead adversely affects marine life’s blood and oxygen exchange and ultimately leads to death. Polluted and foul marine environments indirectly cause threat to humans in the future.


According to e-Cycle, mercury is used in:

  • Cell phone batteries
  • Crystal displays
  • Circuit boards

Mercury is one of the significant causes of reducing the reproductive abilities of fish, impeding their growth and damaging sensory processes.


Cardium, when it is e-cycled, can be found in;

  • Plating on steel
  • In stabilizers for PVC
  • As electrode material
  • In plastics and glass
  • As a component of various alloys

Cadmium creates lethal-effect in fish by malformation of its spine. The earlier stages of a fishes life, ie. the embryo or larvae are the most susceptible to malformation from cadmium.

This post was written by Steven Elia Co-Founder and Recycling Director at eCycle Florida. eCycle Florida is a R2 Certified electronics recycling company in the state of Florida. Our processes and procedures are dedicated to the proper destruction and recycling of your electronics. eCycle Florida is your go-to for Pinellas County electronics recycling.

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