Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Destroying video karera TVs could harm health, environment

Environment watchdogs appealed to the government of Manila not to destroy confiscated gambling equipment, such as television sets, because it could trigger health and environmental issues.

The Project E-Waste Action Now! (Project EWAN) had sought the advice of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on how to safely dispose of the confiscated “video karera” (VK) machines, after the City of Manila smashed the television sets of 70 of the machines last week.

As confirmed by Manila's Department of Public Services to the EcoWaste Coalition, the broken TVs were then brought to the Pier 18 garbage transfer station in Tondo, and transported by barge to the sanitary landfill in Barangay Tanza, Navotas City.

In a statement, Project EWAN expressed its serious concern over the way the machines seized from illegal gambling operators were destroyed and disposed of.

“We laud and support the unfaltering drive to stop addictive gambling activities that deflect youth attention away from their school and family responsibilities. But, we call Mayor Alfredo Lim’s attention to the hazards of crushing or burning the confiscated gambling paraphernalia,” EcoWaste President Roy Alvarez said.

“The smashing of TV screens causes dangerous chemicals in the equipment to be dispersed into the surroundings and thus jeopardizing public health. People smashing the screens are exposing themselves to airborne toxins and glass shards when the screen implodes,” Richard Gutierrez of Ban Toxics and coordinator of Project EWAN said.


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