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Severe dioxin-like compound (DLC) contamination in e-waste recycling areas: An under-recognized threat to local health
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Number of Authors: 172020 (English)In: Environment International, ISSN 0160-4120, E-ISSN 1873-6750, Vol. 139, article id 105731Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

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.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2020. Vol. 139, article id 105731
Keywords [en]
Dioxin-like compound, Toxicity, E-waste recycling site, Human exposure, Health risk
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-183682DOI: 10.1016/j.envint.2020.105731ISI: 000544884400003PubMedID: 32315892OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-183682DiVA, id: diva2:1455184
Available from: 2020-07-22 Created: 2020-07-22 Last updated: 2022-03-23Bibliographically approved

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Bergman, Åke

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