E-waste environmental contamination and harm to public health in China
1. Laboratory of Environmental Medicine and Developmental Toxicology, and Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Infectious Diseases and Molecular Immunopathology, Shantou University Medical College, Shantou 515041, China.
2. Department of Cell Biology and Genetics, Shantou University Medical College, Shantou 515041, China.
3. Department of Epidemiology, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands.
4. Groningen Research Institute for Asthma and COPD (GRIAC), University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, 1 Hanzeplein, Groningen 9700RB, the NetherlandsAvailable online：2015-05-22
The adverse effects of electronic waste (e-waste) on the human body have stirred up concern in recent years. China is one of the countries that confront serious pollution and human exposure of e-waste, and the majority of the population is exposed to potentially hazardous substances that are derived from informal e-waste recycling processes. This study reviews recent reports on human exposure to e-waste in China, with particular focus on exposure routes (e.g., inhalation and ingestion) and several toxicities of human (e.g., endocrine system, respiratory system, reproductive system, developmental toxicity, neurotoxicity, and genetic toxicity). Pieces of evidence that associate e-waste exposure with human health effects in China are assessed. The role of toxic heavy metals (e.g., lead, cadmium, chromium, mercury, and nickel) and organic pollutants (e.g., polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs), polyhalogenated aromatic hydrocarbons (PHAHs), bisphenol A (BPA)) on human health is also briefly discussed.