Environmental contamination and health effects due to e-waste recycling

Anna Oi Wah LEUNG*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


The digital age has been accompanied by a tsunami of E-waste exported from developed countries to developing countries and economies in transition around the world. Global attention to the problems of E-waste first began with the discovery of mountains of E-waste in the village of Guiyu of southeastern China over 15 years ago. Obsolete computers were primitively and crudely recycled, resulting in extensive levels of environmental contamination consisting of a cocktail of pollutants which included heavy metals and persistent organic pollutants. The handling of E-waste became an emerging issue and thereafter problems similar to that of Guiyu became mirrored in other E-waste dumping grounds in other countries. This chapter reviews the contaminant levels in the environment and the adverse impacts on human health due to E-waste recycling.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationElectronic Waste Management and Treatment Technology
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9780128161906
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Environmental Science(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Basel Convention
  • E-waste
  • Guiyu
  • Heavy metals
  • PBDEs
  • PCDD/Fs
  • Persistent organic pollutants
  • WEEE


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