Open-i Logo
Submit this form
Results 1-1   << Back

 
Yellow smoke from acid bath hut.
© Copyright Policy

f5-ehp0115-001113: Yellow smoke from acid bath hut.

Mentions: The primitive e-waste recycling procedures in Guiyu were mainly as follows: a) Old electronic equipment was dismantled (Figure 2) with electric drill, cutter, hammer, and screwdriver into component parts such as monitor, hard drive, CD driver, wires, cables, circuit boards, transformer, charger, battery, and plastic or metal frame that are sold for reuse or to other workshops for further recycling. b) Circuit boards (Figure 3) of computers and other large appliances were heated over coal fires to melt the solder to release valuable electronic components, such as diodes, resistors, and microchips. c) Circuit boards of cell phones and other hand-held devices were taken apart by a electrothermal machine (Figure 4), which was a particular environmental and human health concern in the processing of e-waste in Guiyu. d) In acid baths (Figure 5), some microchips and computer parts were soaked to extract precious gold and palladium, from which the waste acids were discharged into nearby fields and streams. e) Wires and cables were stripped or simply burnt in open air to recover metals. f) Printer cartridges were ripped apart for their toner and recyclable aluminum, steel, and plastic parts. g) Plastic [e.g., polyvinyl chloride (PVC), acrylonitrile butadiene styrene copolymer (ABS), high-density polyethylene (HDPE)] was sorted by workers according to rigidity, color, and luster. Plastic scraps that cannot be sorted visually must be burned and classified by burning odor. Another way to sort different plastics was gravitational separation into ceramic jugs with brine (Figure 6), after which the pieces were spread on the sidewalk to dry; h) For reprocessing, after sorting plastic scraps were fed into grinders that spit out tiny pieces of plastic. i) For metals sorting and reprocessing, transformers, chargers, batteries, and cathode-ray tubes were separated and hammered open for recycling metals such as copper, steel, silver, aluminum, which were then reprocessed to raw material.

Elevated Blood Lead Levels of Children in Guiyu, an Electronic Waste Recycling Town in China

Huo X, Peng L, Xu X, Zheng L, Qiu B, Qi Z, Zhang B, Han D, Piao Z - Environ. Health Perspect. (2007)

Bottom Line: Statistical analyses showed that children living in Guiyu had significantly higher BLLs compared with those living in Chendian (p < 0.01).Of children in Guiyu, 81.8% (135 of 165) had BLLs > 10 microg/dL, compared with 37.7% of children (23 of 61) in Chendian (p < 0.01).However, no significant difference in Hgb level or physical indexes was found between the two towns.

Affiliation: Central Laboratory and the Key Immunopathology Laboratory of Guangdong Province, Shantou University Medical College, Shantou, China. xhuo@stu.edu.cn

ABSTRACT

Background: Electronic waste (e-waste) recycling has remained primitive in Guiyu, China, and thus may contribute to the elevation of blood lead levels (BLLs) in children living in the local environment.

Objectives: We compared the BLLs in children living in the e-waste recycling town of Guiyu with those living in the neighboring town of Chendian.

Methods: We observed the processing of e-waste recycling in Guiyu and studied BLLs in a cluster sample of 226 children < 6 years of age who lived in Guiyu and Chendian. BLLs were determined with atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Hemoglobin (Hgb) and physical indexes (height and weight, head and chest circumferences) were also measured.

Results: BLLs in 165 children of Guiyu ranged from 4.40 to 32.67 microg/dL with a mean of 15.3 microg/dL, whereas BLLs in 61 children of Chendian were from 4.09 to 23.10 microg/dL with a mean of 9.94 microg/dL. Statistical analyses showed that children living in Guiyu had significantly higher BLLs compared with those living in Chendian (p < 0.01). Of children in Guiyu, 81.8% (135 of 165) had BLLs > 10 microg/dL, compared with 37.7% of children (23 of 61) in Chendian (p < 0.01). In addition, we observed a significant increasing trend in BLLs with increasing age in Guiyu (p < 0.01). It appeared that there was correlation between the BLLs in children and numbers of e-waste workshops. However, no significant difference in Hgb level or physical indexes was found between the two towns.

Conclusions: The primitive e-waste recycling activities may contribute to the elevated BLLs in children living in Guiyu.

View Similar Images In: Results Collection              View Article: Medline Plus Pubmed Central PubMed      Show All Figures 
getmorefigures.php?pmc=1913570&rFormat=json&query=the&fields=all&favor=none&it=none&sub=none&sp=none&coll=none&req=5
Show MeSH

Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications
U.S. National Library of Medicine, 8600 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20894
National Institutes of Health, Department of Health & Human Services
Privacy, Accessibility, Frequently Asked Questions, Contact Us, Collection
Freedom of Information Act, USA.gov