Spatial distribution of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in soil, sediment, and combusted residue at an e-waste processing site in southeast China

Anna O. W. LEUNG, Kwai Chung CHEUNG, Ming Hung WONG

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Abstract

The environmental pollution and health impacts caused by the primitive and crude recycling of e-waste have become urgent global issues. Guiyu, China is a major hotspot of e-waste recycling. In this study, the levels and distribution of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in soil in Guiyu were determined to investigate the effect of e-waste activities on the environment and to identify possible sources of these pollutants. Sediment samples from a local duck pond, water gullies, a river tributary, and combusted residue from e-waste burning sites were also investigated. The general trend found in soil (Σ16 PAHs) was acid leaching site > duck pond > rice field > printer roller dump site > reservoir (control site) and ranged from 95.2 ± 54.2 to 5,210 ± 89.6 ng/g (dry wt). The highest average total PAH concentrations were found in combusted residues of wires, cables, and other computer electrical components located at two e-waste open burning sites (18,600 and 10,800 ± 3,940 ng/g). These were 195- and 113-fold higher than the PAH concentrations of soil at the control site. Sediment PAH concentrations ranged from 37.2 ± 6 to 534 ± 271 ng/g. Results of this study provide further evidence of significant input of PAHs to the environment attributed to crude e-waste recycling. Copyright © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8786-8801
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Volume22
Issue number12
Early online date22 Jan 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015

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Citation

Leung, A. O. W., Cheung, K.C., & Wong, M. H. (2015). Spatial distribution of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in soil, sediment, and combusted residue at an e-waste processing site in southeast China. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 22(12), 8786-8801. doi: 10.1007/s11356-013-1465-8.

Keywords

  • Electronic-waste
  • Guiyu
  • Open burning
  • Acid leaching
  • Risk assessment