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Electronic waste—a modern form of risk? : On the consequences of the delay between the increasing generation of electronic waste and regulations to manage this increase

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Author list: Olofsson, Jennie
Publication year: 2017
Start page: 1272
End page: 1284
Number of pages: 13
ISSN: 1080-7039

Abstract

This article addresses the relation between the current proliferation of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) goods and services and the development of different kinds of risk assessments and policy documents. The ambition is to shed light on a, hithertho, less-discussed aspect of the development of risk assessments and policy documents, namely the time span between the development of new technologies and the development of regulatory frameworks. The concept of risk and danger can be seen as a potential means through which we can start to think about the consequences of the delay between the increased generation of electronic waste (e-waste) and the regulations to manage this increase. By using e-waste as a case study, this article provides the basis for a more general understanding of the relation between the development of new technologies and the development of regulatory frameworks. While it might be difficult to pin down the effects that this delay had/has for the subsequent development of ICTs, this article highlights the importance of taking into account not only how and by whom risk assessments and policy documents are developed, but also when they are developed in relation to the technologies that they serve to regulate.


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