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, Hua Xing Guan, Ying Xu, Ying Liang, Xuan Chen Ling, Chun Wu Sheng, Chris K C WONG, Clement K.M. Leung, Ming Hung WONG*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

150 Citations (Scopus)

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7668-7674
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Science & Technology
Volume41
Issue number22
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2007

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry

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