Electronic waste from trashed consumer and business electronic products contains toxic metals such as lead, mercury, cadmium and beryllium, and other hazardous chemicals that can cause such medical problems as high blood pressure; damage to the central and peripheral nervous systems, the endocrine systems, the kidneys, lungs, liver and digestive tract; and pose a risk to unborn fetuses.

With 1.5 million of these machines ending up in landfills, there's a threat of poisonous seepage from the more than 100 chemicals--including lead, cadmium, barium, and mercury--of which they're comprised.

In 2004 the British Environment Agency reported that exported waste included tens of thousands of computers, 500,000 television sets, three million refrigerators, 160,000 tons of other electrical equipment and millions of discarded mobile phones.

Since there are nearly four pounds of lead and other harmful materials found in TVs, they're classified as hazardous waste by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Cathode Ray Tube glass found in most televisions and computer monitors contains potentially hazardous lead.

As the leading nation in mobile phone usage, Japan also has the highest number of mobile phones that are discarded when they become obsolete each year. Mobile phones, PDAs and digital cameras all contain amounts of lead, beryllium, arsenic, mercury, antimony and cadmium.