J Occup Environ Med. 2019 Nov;61(11):905-909. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000001697.


OBJECTIVE: This study aims to summarize electronic waste (e-waste) worker health; examine associations between health and sociodemographic characteristics; and metal body burden.

METHODS: In 2016, 131 e-waste recycling workers were enrolled in the study, completed a questionnaire, and gave blood and urine samples for heavy metal concentration assessment (lead, cadmium, copper, zinc, nickel). The relationship between symptoms, general health, and metals is assessed via generalized estimating equation models (adjusted for age, education, sex, and village).

RESULTS: Cadmium in blood and copper in serum were most consistently associated with higher odds of poor health and prevalence of symptoms. We found inconsistent results between general health, symptom severity, and urinary nickel. Higher blood lead levels (BLL) were associated with fewer self-reported symptoms.

CONCLUSIONS: Exposure to certain metals in e-waste recycling communities may adversely impact health status.

PMID:31464817 | DOI:10.1097/JOM.0000000000001697