Surface soils and combusted residue from a village located in southeast China, which has been intensely involved in the dismantling and "recycling" of computer parts (e-waste) for the past decade, were analyzed for polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs). Total PBDE concentrations were highest in combusted residue of plastic chips and cables collected from a residential area (33 000-97 400 ng/g, dry wt), in soils from an acid leaching site (2720-4250 ng/g, dry w), and a printer roller dump site (593-2890 ng/g, dry wt). BDE-209 was the most dominant congener (35-82%) among the study sites indicating the prevalence of commercial Deca-BDE, however signature congeners from commercial Penta-and Octa-BDE were also found. PCDD/F concentrations were also highest in soil from the acid leaching site (12 500-89 800 pg/g, 203-1100 pg WHO-TEQ/g, dry wt) and in combusted residue (13 500-25 300 pg/g, 84.3-174 pg WHO-TEQ/g, dry wt) and were comparable to PCDD/F levels of some open dumping sites in Asian developing countries. Of the e-waste activities, acid leaching and open burning emitted the highest concentrations of PBDEs and PCDD/Fs. This study is among the very few studies dealing with the important issue of pollution generated from crude e-waste recycling. Our results show that the crude processing of e-waste has become one of the major contributors of PBDEs and PCDD/Fs to the terrestrial environment.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Environmental Chemistry