The Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL) warned all users of telecommunications equipment in particular of mobile phones to purchase such products solely from reputed dealers who import them in a proper manner.

Mobile phones from dealers registered with the TRCSL and imported through the Customs in the proper manner also contain a sticker of the TRCSL.

Director General of the TRCSL, Sunil S. Sirisena said that there were health hazards resulting from batteries of mobile phones bursting and radioactive rays getting activated and entering the human body as a result of the use of low quality mobile phones and batteries.

“People should refrain from using such,” said Sirisena.

He warned that discarding of such waste in a haphazard manner would result in the release of chemicals such as beryllium, chromium, lead, cadmium, polychlorinated biphenyls and arsenic, all of which are the major components and ingredients detrimental to the environment.

“Telecommunications operators (five of them) and the environmental authorities and their regional and district level offices along with the TRCSL have come up with a programme where bins have been placed for purposes of discarding e-waste. This e-waste is then handed over to 12 local organizations and companies registered with the environmental authorities for purposes of assembling, taking the required parts for purposes of export, recycling and discarding.

“If not discarded properly, there will be problems for the general public. This must be monitored by way of a plan which needs to be prepared along with places for dumping. Environmental authorities are also involved. Previously, analog, second generation phones were used. Presently, third and fourth generation phones and broadband phones are being used. People keep these things inside small boxes, lockers or garages, yet they do not dispose of them properly,” Sirisena noted.