Body loadings and health risk assessment of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans at an intensive electronic waste recycling site in China

Janet K. Y. CHAN, Guan Hua XING, Ying XU, Ying LIANG, Ling Xuan CHEN, Sheng Chun WU, Chris K. C. WONG, Clement K. M. LEUNG, Ming Hung WONG

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Abstract

This study is one of the very few investigating the dioxin body burden of a group of child-bearing-aged women at an electronic waste (e-waste) recycling site (Taizhou, Zhejiang Province) (24 ± 2.83 years of age, 40% were primiparae) and a reference site (Lin'an city, Zhejiang Province, about 245 km away from Taizhou) (24 ± 2.35 years of age, 100% were primiparae) in China. Five sets of samples (each set consisted of human milk, placenta, and hair) were collected from each site. Body burdens of people from the e-waste processing site (human milk, 21.02 ± 13.81 pg WHO-TEQ1998/g fat (World Health Organization toxic equivalency 1998); placenta, 31.15 ± 15.67 pg WHO-TEQ1998/g fat; hair, 33.82 ± 17.74 pg WHO-TEQ1998/g dry wt) showed significantly higher levels of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) than those from the reference site (human milk, 9.35 ± 7.39 pg WHO-TEQ1998/g fat; placenta, 11.91 ± 7.05 pg WHO-TEQ 1998/g fat; hair, 5.59 ± 4.36 pg WHO-TEQ1998/g dry wt) and were comparatively higher than other studies. The difference between the two sites was due to e-waste recycling operations, for example, open burning, which led to high background levels. Moreover, mothers from the e-waste recycling site consumed more foods of animal origin. The estimated daily intake of PCDD/Fs within 6 months by breastfed infants from the e-waste processing site was 2 times higher than that from the reference site. Both values exceeded the WHO tolerable daily intake for adults by at least 25 and 11 times, respectively. Our results implicated that e-waste recycling operations cause prominent PCDD/F levels in the environment and in humans. The elevated body burden may have health implications for the next generation. Copyright © 2007 American Chemical Society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7668-7674
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Volume41
Issue number22
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Nov 2007

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Health risks
dibenzofuran
dioxin
Risk assessment
health risk
Recycling
risk assessment
fat
Fats
hair
milk
PCDF
Bearings (structural)
Health
Dioxins
Poisons
World Health Organization
PCDD
background level
Processing

Citation

Chan, J. K. Y., Xing, G. H., Xu, Y., Liang, Y., Chen, L. X., Wu, S. C., . . . Wong, M. H. (2007). Body loadings and health risk assessment of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans at an intensive electronic waste recycling site in China. Environmental Science & Technology, 41(22), 7668-7674. doi: 10.1021/es071492j