Environmental and health impact of informal e-waste recycling
The majority (80%) of e-waste generated globally are recycled informally in developing countries.
- Ohajinwa, C.M.
- 23 October 2018
- Thesis in Leiden Repository
The majority (80%) of e-waste generated globally are recycled informally in developing countries. Informal recycling involves the use of crude methods (such as open burning, dismantling, and repair) to recover valuable materials without adequate precaution to health and the environment, thus hazardous e-waste chemicals are released into the environment. However, informal e-waste recycling has offered employment opportunities, access to affordable electronic devices, and conversation of natural resources. Informal e-waste recycling is prevalent in developing countries due to lack of infrastructure for e-waste recycling and weak enforcement of the legislation. This research investigates the current impact of informal e-waste recycling in Nigeria as a case study. This may offer opportunities for appropriate e-waste recycling management strategies suited for low resource settings to reduce the environmental and health effects of unsafe e-waste recycling. This research revealed high levels of both organic and inorganic chemicals at the e-waste sites in this order: Burning > Dismantling > Repair > Control sites. There is low health risk awareness, high injury prevalence, and exposure to both cancer and non-cancer risks among e-waste workers. Recommendations were: 1.Public education on the dangers of informal e-waste recycling 2.Banning of open burning of e-waste 3.Further toxicological studies the workers.