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Legislation Proposed to Curb Electronic Garbage
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Zhang Xuedong, a deputy to the National People's Congress (NPC), China's parliament, has appealed to enact a law to regulate the nation's rapidly increasing electronic garbage.

Electronic waste pollution has become a problem as the lifespans of electronic products were greatly shortened over the past few years, Zhang said on the sidelines of NPC's annual session.

He said at least five million computers, ten million cell phones, five million television sets, and four million refrigerators are out of use each year in China.

Meanwhile, a report from the State Environmental Protection Administration says 70 percent of the electronic waste in the world is imported into China each year, and 90 percent of such waste is broken down in small workshops.

Experts believe the workshops tend to apply very basic technology, therefore large amounts of dangerous materials and heavy metals like lead, chromium, and mercury end up getting released into their surroundings.

"The waste severely pollutes the soil, underground water, and air, and harms people's health," Zhang said.

He also suggested that the law stipulate compulsory recycling of electronic garbage for the sake of saving resources, noting that most developed countries have laws that require the manufacturers of electronics to be responsible for the disposal and recycling of electronic waste.

(Xinhua News Agency March 16, 2007)

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