Study shows the health effects of exposure to contaminants from electronic waste

18 June 2020

The international study, in collaboration with IDAEA-CSIC, has analysed the human risks associated with the exposure to toxic contaminants used in electronic devices, such as wire protection, plastic structures, LCD panels, and circuit boards.

Led by the Canadian researcher Miriam Diamond (University of Toronto), and with the participation of Ethel Eljarrat from the Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research (IDAEA-CSIC), the study analysed the presence of plastificants and flame retardant in workers from an electronic waste dismantling area in Bangladesh.

Researchers found the presence of these substances in all samples, which poses serious health risks for the employees who work in electronic disposal. Labeled as possibly carcinogenic or neurotoxic, some of these compounds need to be correctly recycled and dismantled in order to be safe for humans and the environment.


Yan Wang, Andrea Peris, Mohammad Rashidujjaman Rifat, Syed Ishtiaque Ahmed, Nirupam Aich, Linh V.Nguyen, Jakub Urík, Ethel Eljarrat, Branislav Vrana, Liisa M. Jantunen, Miriam L. Diamond. Mesauring exposure of e-waste dismantlers in Dhaka Bangladesh to organophosphate esters and halogenated flame retardants using silicone wristbands and T-shirts. Science of the Total Environment. 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.137480.

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