What Is Arsenic?

Arsenic is a semimetal or metalloid. Its solid, room-temperature, metallic form is bright, silvery-gray, and brittle. Arsenic and its compounds are poisonous, used in rat poisons and insecticides most frequently, even though the use is strictly controlled. It’s a chemical element found on the periodic table, with the symbol As and the atomic number of 33.


Interestingly, arsenic has a past in medicinal applications and is currently used as an organoarsenic compound, added to poultry feed to prevent disease. Nonetheless, the world consumption of arsenic is relatively small, with only a few hundred tons per year. 


In general, arsenic is a skin irritant, leading to dermatitis development, and it’s advisable not to inhale any compounds. Most illness comes from ingestion. 

Common Uses of Arsenic in Electronics

Arsenic is used chiefly as a doping agent in semiconductors. But it is found in bronzing, pyrotechnics, and some special glasses. It’s mainly produced by minerals and is desired in the manufacturing of lead shots, seeing that its properties improve the shape of the projectiles. 


Since it bears alloys, arsenic is also applied in batteries or cable sheathing, preventing corrosion. It has a low thermal and electrical conductivity, and Gallium arsenide can produce laser light directly from electricity.

Close-up of fiber optic cables with arsenic components

Arsenic E-Waste and the EPA

E-Waste, or electronic waste, refers to old electronics coming to the end of their lives. They are discarded, donated, or recycled for their value. 


The majority can be reused and refurbished, which is beneficial, minimizing waste that ends up in the landfill or improperly discarded. Without following the proper standards or enforcement, tossed electronics can result in health and environmental concerns, affecting peoples’ lives through the unsafe handling of used technology.


Workers are exposed to harmful and toxic materials with high levels of lead, mercury, and, you guessed it, arsenic. These substances can lead to cancer, miscarriages, neurological damage, and lower IQs. 


The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) coordinates with other governments and environmental officials worldwide on e-waste management. Since 2011, the Taiwan Environmental Protection Administration has collaborated with the International E-Waste Management Network to exchange the best computer recycling practices. 


Furthermore, developing countries are assisted by the E-Waste Problem Initiative to get rid of outdated technology properly. A few countries do not keep a record of their e-waste, not understanding the gravity of this issue.

Arsenic E-Waste Statistics

Here, we’ll list the harm e-waste poses to the world. With so much technological innovation, devices are replaced more quickly. In addition, the lifetime of products does not last as long as it used to. All in all, the failure to recycle this equipment will lead to future shortages of earth’s materials. 

  • In 2009, U.S. consumers disposed of approx. 2.4 trillion tons of various technological devices; only 25% were collected for recycling.
  • China generated approx. 11 million tons of e-waste in 2015; the U.S. followed with 10 million.
  • In Europe, Germany creates the most e-waste total.
  • In 2010, the U.S. discarded approximately 260 million computers, TVs, phones, and more.
  • Fewer than 10% of mobile phones are recycled and reused.

Responsible Disposal of Arsenic E-Waste

NewTech Recycling focuses on the correct environmental practices to help make a brighter future. They have 20+ years of experience in environmental stewardship and are a reputable e-waste recycling company. 


They handle their clients’ electronic material responsibly, knowing how crucial data is, disposing of it safely. NewTech has high-tech security and enforces these practices via an environmental integrity policy. 


So, if you need to get rid of old tech, consider partnering with NewTech Recycling for services that guarantee the protection of the environment and the proper disposal of your data.

Contact Us Today to Prevent Problems Tomorrow!