Study Cites Toxic E-Waste Growth as Disturbing Trend

Washington, D.C. — A study recently published by The Worldwatch Institute found economic recession, the increasing use of fossil fuels and continued population growth to be alarming trends in the United States.

The study, "Vital Signs 2002: The Trends That Are Shaping Our Future," found that global population increased to 6.2 billion this year, while the rate of economic growth was only at 2.1 percent, one of the lowest in the past five decades. Additionally, despite growing awareness of the effects of fossil fuels on the environment, consumption of coal, oil and natural gas rose by 1.3 percent last year.

The study stressed that an increasing volume of electronic toxic waste, or e-waste, is a growing concern. Parts of Europe, Asia and Australia already have programs in place to dispose of toxic waste products such as computers, personal digital assistants (PDAs) and cell phones.

However, the study’s co-author, Micheal Renner, noted that there also is a trend by consumers to buy more environmentally friendly and recyclable products.