Exposure to PCBs, through inhalation, dermal contact and dust ingestion at Taizhou, China: A major site for recycling transformers

Guan Hua XING, Ying LIANG, Ling Xuan CHEN, Sheng Chun WU, Ming Hung WONG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticles

60 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Air samples containing gaseous and particulate phases were collected from e-waste workplaces and residential areas of an intensive e-waste recycling area and compared with a reference site. The highest total concentration of PCBs was detected at transformer recycling workshops (17.6 ng m⁻³), followed by the residential area (3.37 ng m⁻³) at Taizhou, and the lowest was obtained at the residential area of the reference site, Lin'an (0.46 ng m⁻³). The same trend was also observed with regards to PCB levels in dust samples. The highest average PCBs level of 2824 ng g⁻¹ (dry wt) was found in the transformer recycling workshops, and was significantly higher than that of residential areas of Taizhou (572 ng g⁻¹ dry wt) and Lin'an (42.4 ng g⁻¹ dry wt). WHO-PCB-TEQ level in the workshops of Taizhou was 2216 pg TEQ₁₉₉₈ g⁻¹ dry wt or 2159 pg TEQ₂₀₀₅ g⁻¹ dry wt, due to the high abundance of PCB 126 (21.5 ng g⁻¹ dry wt), which contributed 97% or 99% of WHO-PCB-TEQs. The estimated intake of PCBs via dust ingestion and dermal absorption by transformer recycling workers were 77.5×10⁻⁵ and 36.0×10⁻⁵ pg WHO-PCB-TEQ₁₉₉₈ kg⁻¹ d⁻¹, and 67.3×10⁻⁵ and 31.3×10⁻⁵ pg WHO-PCB-TEQ₂₀₀₅ kg⁻¹ d⁻¹, respectively. Copyright © 2011 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)605-611
JournalChemosphere
Volume83
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011

Citation

Xing, G. H., Liang, Y., Chen, L. X., Wu, S. C., & Wong, M. H. (2011). Exposure to PCBs, through inhalation, dermal contact and dust ingestion at Taizhou, China: A major site for recycling transformers. Chemosphere, 83(4), 605-611. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2010.12.018

Keywords

  • Electronic waste recycling
  • Exposure pathways
  • Transformers
  • Capacitors

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