Adverse Human and Environmental Health Effects of Electronic Wastes: A Critical Review and Consequence Analysis
Increase in obsolete electronics is a direct consequence of rapidly changing technologies and an upsurge in the global demand for new electronic devices. This has led to large quantities of electronic products discarded as electronic waste (e-waste), creating enormous environmental health challenges impacting the management of the product life cycle (PLC) of the global product chain for manufactured electronics. The environmental health impacts of e-wastes vary widely across geography. Major contributors of e-waste production as well as major e-waste importing countries are identified in this study. The “Chemicals in Products (CiP)”, their fate and distribution in the environment, based on the local geology of the land use, and toxicological effects in the human body upon exposure, are investigated. The study outcomes present the need for recommended actions and prospective solutions for mitigating the associated hazards from CiP and the risks of potential adverse effects to humans and the environment. Effective handling and PLC management of e-waste can be achieved through proper implementation, permeable reactive barriers use in incinerators, oil-water solvent systems for contaminant removal and revision of existing regulations. These recommendations will help protect the health of children and adults in susceptible areas and improve electronic products management and environmental sustainability.
Electronic Waste, Heavy Metals, Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons, Polychlorinated Biphenyls, Contamination, Exposure, Toxicology, Remediation
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