Electronic Waste: Harmful U.S. Exports Flow Virtually Unrestricted Because of Minimal EPA Enforcement and Narrow Regulation

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Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Increasingly, 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 damage health and the environment. Items with cathode-ray tubes (CRTs) are particularly harmful because they contain lead, a known toxin. As a result, in January 2007, EPA began regulating the export of CRTs under a rule requiring companies to notify EPA before exporting CRTs. GAO's August 2008 report examined (1) ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. September 17, 2008.

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Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Increasingly, 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 damage health and the environment. Items with cathode-ray tubes (CRTs) are particularly harmful because they contain lead, a known toxin. As a result, in January 2007, EPA began regulating the export of CRTs under a rule requiring companies to notify EPA before exporting CRTs. GAO's August 2008 report 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 Internet buyers of broken CRTs."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • September 17, 2008

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  • June 11, 2014, 5:03 a.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Electronic Waste: Harmful U.S. Exports Flow Virtually Unrestricted Because of Minimal EPA Enforcement and Narrow Regulation, text, September 17, 2008; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc293645/: accessed May 25, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.