Biomonitoring of Metals, Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers, Polychlorinated Biphenyls, Persistent Pesticides in Vietnamese Female Electronic Waste Recyclers

Electronic-waste is increasing. Its frequently conducted in developing countries. This is the first study to report metals, polybrominated diphenyl-ethers(PBDEs), polychlorinated biphenyls(PCBs), 2,2-bis(4-chlorophenyl)-1,1,1-trichloroethane(p,p’-DDT), and p,p’-DDE concentrations in female e-waste workers. Female Vietnamese recyclers and non-recyclers were studied. Metals and halogenated organics were measured in blood and urine, and compared to levels in women in the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey(NHANES). Recyclers had higher serum PBDE than non-recyclers. PCB-138/158 and PCB-153 were higher in 18-<38year-old non-recyclers. Median urinary arsenic in both cohorts was 6 to 7-fold higher than NHANES. Median lead in blood and urine was 40-60% higher in recyclers than non-recyclers. Lead in non-recyclers was 4 to 6-fold higher than NHANES. Both cohorts had higher arsenic and mercury than NHANES. The authors concluded that occupational exposure to PBDEs and lead occurred in recyclers. Environmental exposure to arsenic, lead, and mercury occurred in both cohorts. Occupational and environmental remediation are recommended.

Authors: Schecter A, Kincaid J, Quynh HT, Lanceta J, Tran HTT, Crandall R, Shropshire W, Birnbaum LS. ; Full Source: Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine. 2017 Nov 2. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000001200. [Epub ahead of print]