Battery use is more common now than ever. This is brought by the popularity of gadgets such as cellular phones, video cameras, toys and laptop computers. However, due to its heavy usage, its disposal has become unsatisfactory. Consumers are said to throw billions of batteries every year without them knowing the health and environmental hazards caused by improperly disposed batteries. Below is a list of those hazards.
Batteries normally contain toxic materials such as acid, nickel, alkaline, nickel metal hydride, cadmium, mercury, lead and lithium, which become hazardous waste and pose threats to health and the environment if improperly disposed. Once the casing of the battery disintegrates, these toxic materials can contaminate the immediate surrounding environment. It can spread easily on soil upon direct contact. As a result, wildlife can also be affected since plants and animals come into contact with these elements through the soil.
As these toxic materials seep their way into the soil, chances are it can make its way to the water systems. Battery chemicals can contaminate the aquatic ecosystems as corrosive liquids and dissolved metals get released into the groundwater.
Water cycle causes the groundwater to evaporate into the atmosphere. If the water is polluted with waste materials from the improper disposal of batteries, most likely air acidification will occur. Air acidification is the accumulation of acidic substances in atmospheric particles. The cycle continues as these particles come down as rain. In other instances, the pollutants from disposed batteries remain in the atmosphere. They go through photochemical reactions thereby producing toxic chemicals such as harmful gases and particulate substances that damage the ozone. The accumulation of these substances causes a significant and dangerous build-up of photochemical smog, which is known to cause human deaths.
Climate Change and Global Warming
On a larger scale, the emission of the abovementioned pollutants contributes largely to the increasing greenhouse gas effect. This begins from the production of the batteries up until their disposal, as they create more carbon footprint upon undergoing various manufacturing processes. The overall effect of such is manifested as the increase in the temperature of the Earth’s surface. However, rechargeable batteries is proven to contribute less to global warming than disposable batteries, because less greenhouse gas emissions are associated with the manufacture and transportation of rechargeable batteries.
It is important to take note of how you can properly dispose your used batteries. That is why we at Melbourne Metal Recycling will help you get rid of them without harming the environment. Our metal recycling company is dedicated to providing the best possible service to our customers while we inform you on the positive effect this has on the Earth itself.