Undercurrents: beneath the obvious

April 10, 2007

Discarded Batteries Imperil Our Water

Filed under: Canada,Great Lakes Issues,Great Lakes Threats — nemo @ 9:21 pm

From the Lake Ontario Waterkeeper comes this article on discarded batteries:

Consumers recycle only about 2 per cent of the batteries they use, and thousands of tonnes of toxic battery waste end up in landfills every year, a new study by Environment Canada says.

It’s estimated that Canadians will discard 495 million rechargeable and non-rechargeable batteries in 2010, up from 347 million in 2004.

Batteries contain heavy metals that may leach from landfill sites into drinking water supplies, the report says.

By 2010, the annual waste from batteries is projected to contain 747 tonnes of lead, which is known to impair intelligence in children; half a tonne of mercury, which can damage the human nervous system; and 287 tonnes of nickel, 543 tonnes of zinc, and 3,501 tonnes of manganese, all of which have some toxic properties.

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