This study utilized an input-output analysis to determine the amount of lead-containing waste generated throughout the industrial supply chain in Taiwan, specifically for the electrical and electronic industries. In the European Union, lead use in electrical and electronic equipment has been prohibited since 2005. However, this does not ensure the complete absence of lead-containing waste discharge during the production of these items. Lead-containing waste is generated in various forms and arises from various life stages of multiple industries. The RoHS and WEEE directive does not control the hazardous metals generated in the raw material extraction and manufacturing stages. It is important to investigate how much hazardous lead-containing waste is generated throughout the supply chain of a lead-free product. The aim of this study is to examine discharge of lead-containing wastes along the supply chain of electrical and electronic products in Taiwan, including the product disposal phase and the upstream supply chain. The results of this study show that the generation of lead-containing waste continues to grow; however, the amount of lead-containing waste in the electrical and electronic industry shows a decline. In this study, the electrical and electronic industry comprises six sectors according to manufacturing characteristics. The sector of Electrical Materials, which includes battery manufacturing, shows the highest degree of direct lead-containing waste generation of the six sectors. The greatest amount of indirect lead-containing waste is primarily attributed to the Electrical and Electronic Equipment sector, which produces final electric products. The main indirect lead-containing waste generation is found to occur in tier 2 and tier 3 sectors of the supply chain. The Pig Iron and Crude Steel sector and Electricity and Steam sector are two major contributors of lead-containing waste to the entire supply chain of electrical and electronic equipment products. As lead-free regulation has successfully controlled the lead content in the electrical and electronic products, more attention should be paid to indirect waste discharge from the upstream supply chain of production.
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