Industry body Assocham on Wednesday said the government should formulate an effective legislation to prevent entry of child labour into the e-waste business.
“Many workers (in this business) are children, who are unaware of the hazards. By the time they reach 35 to 40 years of age, they’re incapable of working,” Assocham said in a statement.
Majority of the workers engaged in various e-waste activities are suffering from respiratory ailments such as breathing difficulties and coughing due to inadequate safeguards at workshops, it added.
Children are particularly vulnerable to lead poisoning more than adults because they absorb more lead and due to this their nervous system and blood gets affected.
The chamber said that there is a “need to bring out an effective legislation to prevent entry of child labour into its (e-waste) collection, segregation and distribution”.
It said among the eight largest e-waste generating states, Maharashtra ranks first, followed by Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Karnataka and West Bengal.
“About 76 per cent of e-waste workers in India suffer from respiratory ailments like breathing difficulties who all are engaged in various e-waste activities due to improper safeguards and dismantling workshops,” it said.