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, 76 (1), 9-15

Contamination by Trace Elements at E-Waste Recycling Sites in Bangalore, India


Contamination by Trace Elements at E-Waste Recycling Sites in Bangalore, India

Nguyen Ngoc Ha et al. Chemosphere.


The recycling and disposal of electronic waste (e-waste) in developing countries is causing an increasing concern due to its effects on the environment and associated human health risks. To understand the contamination status, we measured trace elements (TEs) in soil, air dust, and human hair collected from e-waste recycling sites (a recycling facility and backyard recycling units) and the reference sites in Bangalore and Chennai in India. Concentrations of Cu, Zn, Ag, Cd, In, Sn, Sb, Hg, Pb, and Bi were higher in soil from e-waste recycling sites compared to reference sites. For Cu, Sb, Hg, and Pb in some soils from e-waste sites, the levels exceeded screening values proposed by US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Concentrations of Cr, Mn, Co, Cu, In, Sn, Sb, Tl, Pb and Bi in air from the e-waste recycling facility were relatively higher than the levels in Chennai city. High levels of Cu, Mo, Ag, Cd, In, Sb, Tl, and Pb were observed in hair of male workers from e-waste recycling sites. Our results suggest that e-waste recycling and its disposal may lead to the environmental and human contamination by some TEs. To our knowledge, this is the first study on TE contamination at e-waste recycling sites in Bangalore, India.

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