Chemical hazards associated with treatment of waste electrical and electronic equipment

Waste Management所収
Volume (Issue): 31 (1)

This review paper summarizes the existing knowledge on the chemical hazards associated with recycling and other end-of-life treatment options of waste electrical and electronic equipment (e-waste). The hazards arise from the presence of heavy metals (e.g., mercury, cadmium, lead, etc.), flame retardants (e.g., pentabromophenol, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), tetrabromobisphenol-A (TBBPA), etc.) and other potentially harmful substances in e-waste. If improperly managed, the substances may pose significant human and environmental health risks. The review describes the potentially hazardous content of e-waste, examines the existing e-waste management practices and presents scientific data on human exposure to chemicals, workplace and environmental pollution associated with the three major e-waste management options, i.e., recycling, incineration and landfilling. The existing e-waste management practices and associated hazards are reviewed separately for developed and developing countries. Finally, based on this review, the paper identifies gaps in the existing knowledge and makes some recommendations for future research.