Study: Solar panels a looming toxic ‘crisis’

Saturday, July 1, 2017
By Paul Martin

Industry creating Everest-sized mountains of ‘carcinogenc,’ ‘teratogenic’ waste


WASHINGTON – The solar-energy industry has been touted for years as the environmentally safe alternative. After all, solar panels merely absorb the sun’s energy and transfer it to consumers. No oily pipelines, no obstructions to the nation’s waterways.

But it appears all is not well for fans of the industry.

Discarded solar panels, piling up around the world, are detrimental to the environment, according to a new study by Environmental Progress.

And carcinogenic.

And teratogenic.

While environmentalist have warned for decades of the hazard of nuclear power, solar panels produce 300 times more toxic waste per unity of energy than nuclear power plants, warns Berkeley, California-based EP.

Discarded solar panels not only contain lead, but chromium and cadmium – both of which are carcinogenic. Cadmium is present in cigarette smoke and is blamed for the development of kidney problems.

And little is being done to mitigate the environmental hazard posed by discarded solar panels.

Japan’s Environment Ministry cautioned last November that Japan has no means to safely dispose of its discarded solar panels, noting the amount of solar panel waste the nation produces annually will increase from 10,000 to 800,000 tons by 2040.

According to EP, it would take 19 years for Japan to recycle all the waste generated by 2020 alone.

Similarly, California, which leads the world in deploying solar panels, has no method set up to safely dispose of solar panel waste. Americans with solar roofs produce 30 to 60 percent more electronic waste than non-solar households.

Only Europe mandates that solar panel producers dispose of waste.

The Rest…HERE

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