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E-waste recycling and public exposure to organic compounds in developing countries: a review of recycling practices and toxicity levels in Ghana

By Awere E. and Obeng P.A.Bonoli A. and Obeng P.A.

Abstract

This paper reviews e-waste practices and aggregates the toxicity levels of organic compounds in different environmental media and human body fluids resulting from e-waste recycling activities in Ghana. Literature was searched from three academic databases (Science Direct, SpringerLink and PUBMED). Research articles published in English from 2010 to 2018 were selected in addition to reports of country studies. In all, 13 documents passed the inclusion criteria. E-waste recycling practices in Ghana were found to be mainly rudimentary. The major organic contaminants found in soils, air, sediments, food and body fluids of people exposed to e-waste recycling activities are PAHs, PCBs, Dioxin-like PCBs, PCDD/Fs, PBDD/Fs and PBDEs. The concentration of PCBs in the blood of e-waste workers and breast milk of nursing mothers at the recycling areas were respectively 0.082 \ub5g/g (blood) and 3.64 ng/g lipid wt (breast milk). PAH was 3.94 \ub5g/g creatinine in the urine of e-waste workers and 4,822 ng/g (median) in the soils at open burning areas. PCDD/F was 12.1 pg/g lipid base WHO2005-TEQ per year in the blood of e-waste workers and 988 pg TEQ/g in sediments of a shallow lagoon near the largest e-waste recycling site. Further studies are required to establish the levels of organic contaminants in air, water and foodstuffs at e-waste recycling sites and body burdens of children living or illegally working at e-waste recycling sites

Topics: E-waste, Ghana, organic compounds, PAH, public health
Publisher: 'Informa UK Limited'
Year: 2020
DOI identifier: 10.1080/21622515.2020.1714749
OAI identifier: oai:cris.unibo.it:11585/760045
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