Surface dust collected from printed circuit board recycling workshop floors, roads, a schoolyard, and an outdoor food market in Guiyu, China, a village intensely involved in e-waste processing, were investigated for levels of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs). PBDE concentrations in dust from workshop-floors (14 800 ± 5130 ng/g) and on adjacent roads to the workshops (24 900 ± 31 600 ng/g) were highest among the study sites whereas PCDD/F concentrations were highest at the schoolyard (1316 pg/g) and in a workshop (1264 pg/g). Analyses of <2 mm and <53 μm dust particle sizes did not show any significant differences in PBDE concentrations. The cytotoxicity was investigated using two bioassays: 7-ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase (EROD-TEQ) and MTT. EROD-TEQ values ranged from 260 to 432 pg/g, with the highest in dust collected from a street lined with workshops. Using the MTT assay, cytoxicity of dust from the plastic chips drying district in Guiyu was higher than dust from the other sites investigated. This study showed that the primitive recycling of e-waste introduced toxic pollutants into the environment which are potentially harmful to the health of e-waste workers and local residents, especially children, and warrants an urgent investigation into POPs related health impacts.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Environmental Chemistry