Title: Developmental neurotoxicants in e-waste: an emerging health concern.
Authors: Chen, Aimin; Dietrich, Kim N; Huo, Xia; Ho, Shuk-mei
Published In Environ Health Perspect, (2011 Apr)
Abstract: Electronic waste (e-waste) has been an emerging environmental health issue in both developed and developing countries, but its current management practice may result in unintended developmental neurotoxicity in vulnerable populations. To provide updated information about the scope of the issue, presence of known and suspected neurotoxicants, toxicologic mechanisms, and current data gaps, we conducted this literature review.We reviewed original articles and review papers in PubMed and Web of Science regarding e-waste toxicants and their potential developmental neurotoxicity. We also searched published reports of intergovernmental and governmental agencies and nongovernmental organizations on e-waste production and management practice.We focused on the potential exposure to e-waste toxicants in vulnerable populations-that is, pregnant women and developing children-and neurodevelopmental outcomes. In addition, we summarize experimental evidence of developmental neurotoxicity and mechanisms.In developing countries where most informal and primitive e-waste recycling occurs, environmental exposure to lead, cadmium, chromium, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, polychlorinated biphenyls, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons is prevalent at high concentrations in pregnant women and young children. Developmental neurotoxicity is a serious concern in these regions, but human studies of adverse effects and potential mechanisms are scarce. The unprecedented mixture of exposure to heavy metals and persistent organic pollutants warrants further studies and necessitates effective pollution control measures.Pregnant women and young children living close to informal e-waste recycling sites are at risk of possible perturbations of fetus and child neurodevelopment.
PubMed ID: 21081302
MeSH Terms: Adult; Child; Electronic Waste/analysis*; Electronic Waste/statistics & numerical data; Environmental Exposure/statistics & numerical data; Environmental Pollution/statistics & numerical data; Halogenated Diphenyl Ethers/toxicity; Hazardous Substances/toxicity*; Humans; Metals, Heavy/toxicity; Nervous System/drug effects*; Nervous System/growth & development; Polychlorinated Biphenyls/toxicity; Polycyclic Hydrocarbons, Aromatic/toxicity; Risk Assessment