UK Slammed for Dumping Toxic Waste in Developing World

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 18, 2009 7:31 AM CDT
Discarded British government computer have been discovered in dumps in Africa, despite European directives prohibiting the export of electrical waste.   (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi)
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(Newser) – Britain is accused of flouting international law by dumping toxic industrial and medical waste in Brazil and Ghana, the Times of London reports. Brazilian authorities were outraged to find over 1,000 tons of hazardous waste in 90 shipping containers labeled as holding recyclable plastic. "It is disgraceful that this cargo was shipped from England," one officials says, "and we are adamant that it be returned."

Brazil plans to take legal action against the companies involved. Toxic British waste has also been found in Ghana, where discarded computers from the UK's Ministry of Defense were discovered in a dump where children dismantle electric waste for parts, exposing themselves to toxic chemicals. Britain's environment secretary plans to investigate the dumping and beef up enforcement of rules banning the export of electronic waste.