A review of environmental fate, body burdens, and human health risk assessment of PCDD/Fs at two typical electronic waste recycling sites in China

Janet Kit Yan CHAN, Ming Hung WONG

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80 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper reviews the levels of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) in different environmental media, human body burdens and health risk assessment results at e-waste recycling sites in China. To provide an indication of the seriousness of the pollution levels in the e-waste recycling sites in China, the data are compared with guidelines and available existing data for other areas. The comparison clearly shows that PCDD/Fs derived from the recycling processes lead to serious pollution in different environmental compartments (such as air, soil, sediment, dust and biota) and heavy body burdens. Of all kinds of e-waste recycling operations, open burning of e-waste and acid leaching activities are identified as the major sources of PCDD/Fs. Deriving from the published data, the estimated total exposure doses via dietary intake, inhalation, soil/dust ingestion and dermal contact are calculated for adults, children and breast-fed infants living in two major e-waste processing locations in China. The values ranged from 5.59 to 105.16 pg WHO-TEQ/kg bw/day, exceeding the tolerable daily intakes recommended by the WHO (1–4 pg WHO-TEQ/kg bw/day). Dietary intake is the most important exposure route for infants, children and adults living in these sites, contributing 60–99% of the total intakes. Inhalation is the second major exposure route, accounted for 12–30% of the total exposure doses of children and adults. In order to protect the environment and human health, there is an urgent need to control and monitor the informal e-waste recycling operations. Knowledge gaps, such as comprehensive dietary exposure data, epidemiological and clinical studies, body burdens of infants and children, and kinetics about PCDD/Fs partitions among different human tissues should be addressed. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1111-1123
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume463-464
Early online dateAug 2012
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013

Citation

Chan, J. K. Y., & Wong, M. H. (2013). A review of environmental fate, body burdens, and human health risk assessment of PCDD/Fs at two typical electronic waste recycling sites in China. Science of The Total Environment, 463-464, 1111-1123. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.07.098

Keywords

  • Polychlorinated dioxins and furans
  • Electronic waste recycling
  • China
  • Health risk assessment
  • Body burden

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