Major pollutants in soils of abandoned agricultural land contaminated by e-waste activities in Hong Kong

Brenda Natalia Lopez, Yu Bon Man, Yin Ge Zhao, Jin Shu Zheng, Anna Oi Wah LEUNG, Jun Yao, Ming Hung WONG

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60 Citations (Scopus)


Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH), polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB), polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) compounds and five heavy metals (cadmium, copper, chromium, lead, and zinc) were determined in soil samples collected from six sites of abandoned agricultural land affected by electronic-waste: e-waste dismantling workshop [EW (DW)], e-waste open burning site [EW (OBS)], e-waste storage [EW (S)], and agricultural (A) in the New Territories, Hong Kong. Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and heavy metals were detected in all soil samples. EW (DW) contained the highest concentrations of PAHs, Cr, Cu, and Zn, whereas EW (OBS) had the highest concentrations of PCBs, PBDEs, Cd, and Pb. PAH at EW (DW) and EW (OBS) and PCB concentrations at EW (OBS) exceeded the target values of the New Dutch list, whereas Cd, Cu, Cr, Pb, and Zn levels exceeded the Chinese legislation for the protection of agricultural production and safeguarding of human health, by 3-11 times at EW (OBS) and 5-8 times at EW (DW). Lead at EW (OBS) and EW (DW) and Cr at EW (DW) greatly exceeded the Canadian Soil Quality Guidelines by 46 and 20 times and 27 times, respectively. Concentrations of POPs and heavy metals at EW (DW) and EW (OBS) were significantly higher than at EW (S) and A. It was concluded that e-waste activities led to increases of toxic chemicals at these abandoned agricultural land, which would hinder the redevelopment of the land.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-114
Number of pages14
JournalArchives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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