Skip Navigation

Publication Detail

Title: Severe dioxin-like compound (DLC) contamination in e-waste recycling areas: An under-recognized threat to local health.

Authors: Dai, Qingyuan; Xu, Xijin; Eskenazi, Brenda; Asante, Kwadwo Ansong; Chen, Aimin; Fobil, Julius; Bergman, Åke; Brennan, Lesley; Sly, Peter D; Nnorom, Innocent Chidi; Pascale, Antonio; Wang, Qihua; Zeng, Eddy Y; Zeng, Zhijun; Landrigan, Philip J; Bruné Drisse, Marie-Noel; Huo, Xia

Published In Environ Int, (2020 06)

Abstract: Electrical and electronic waste (e-waste) burning and recycling activities have become one of the main emission sources of dioxin-like compounds (DLCs). Workers involved in e-waste recycling operations and residents living near e-waste recycling sites (EWRS) are exposed to high levels of DLCs. Epidemiological and experimental in vivo studies have reported a range of interconnected responses in multiple systems with DLC exposure. However, due to the compositional complexity of DLCs and difficulties in assessing mixture effects of the complex mixture of e-waste-related contaminants, there are few studies concerning human health outcomes related to DLC exposure at informal EWRS. In this paper, we have reviewed the environmental levels and body burdens of DLCs at EWRS and compared them with the levels reported to be associated with observable adverse effects to assess the health risks of DLC exposure at EWRS. In general, DLC concentrations at EWRS of many countries have been decreasing in recent years due to stricter regulations on e-waste recycling activities, but the contamination status is still severe. Comparison with available data from industrial sites and well-known highly DLC contaminated areas shows that high levels of DLCs derived from crude e-waste recycling processes lead to elevated body burdens. The DLC levels in human blood and breast milk at EWRS are higher than those reported in some epidemiological studies that are related to various health impacts. The estimated total daily intakes of DLCs for people in EWRS far exceed the WHO recommended total daily intake limit. It can be inferred that people living in EWRS with high DLC contamination have higher health risks. Therefore, more well-designed epidemiological studies are urgently needed to focus on the health effects of DLC pollution in EWRS. Continuous monitoring of the temporal trends of DLC levels in EWRS after actions is of highest importance.

PubMed ID: 32315892 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Body Burden; Dioxins*/analysis; Dioxins*/toxicity; Electronic Waste*; Female; Humans; Milk, Human/chemistry; Recycling

Back
to Top