Evidence of excessive releases of metals from primitive e-waste processing in Guiyu, China

Coby S.C. Wong*, Nurdan S. Duzgoren-Aydin, Adnan Aydin, Ming Hung WONG

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

254 Citations (Scopus)


Guiyu, China is infamous for its involvement in primitive e-waste processing and recycling activities. Freshwater samples were collected in and outside of Guiyu for dissolved metal analysis. It was found that dissolved metal concentrations were higher in Lianjiang and Nanyang River within Guiyu than the reservoir outside of Guiyu. Lianjiang was enriched with dissolved As, Cr, Li, Mo, Sb and Se, while Nanyang River had elevated dissolved Ag, Be, Cd, Co, Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn. Temporal distributions of the metals suggested recent discharges of metals attributable to a strong acid leaching operation of e-waste, where dissolved Ag, Cd, Cu and Ni (0.344 ± 0.014, 0.547 ± 0.074, 87.6 ± 3.0 and 93.0 ± 1.4 μg/L, respectively) were significantly elevated. Pb isotopic composition of dissolved Pb confirmed that more than one non-indigenous Pb were present in Lianjiang and Nanyang River. In summary, it was evident that the riverine environment of Guiyu was heavily impacted by e-waste related activities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-72
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2007

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

User-Defined Keywords

  • China
  • Dissolved metals
  • E-waste
  • Guiyu
  • River


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