HBM4EU E-waste study : assessing persistent organic pollutants in blood, silicone wristbands, and settled dust among E-waste recycling workers in Europe
E-waste recycling is an increasingly important activity that contributes to reducing the burden of end-of-life electronic and electrical apparatus and allows for the EU's transition to a circular economy. This study investigated the exposure levels of selected persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in workers from e-waste recycling facilities across Europe. The concentrations of seven polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and eight polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) congeners were measured by GC-MS. Workers were categorized into five groups based on the type of e-waste handled and two control groups. Generalized linear models were used to assess the determinants of exposure levels among workers. POPs levels were also assessed in dust and silicone wristbands (SWB) and compared with serum. Four PCB congeners (CB 118, 138, 153, and 180) were frequently detected in serum regardless of worker's category. With the exception of CB 118, all tested PCBs were significantly higher in workers compared to the control group. Controls working in the same company as occupationally exposed (Within control group), also displayed higher levels of serum CB 180 than non-industrial controls with no known exposures to these chemicals (Outwith controls) (p < 0.05). BDE 209 was the most prevalent POP in settled dust (16 μg/g) and SWB (220 ng/WB). Spearman correlation revealed moderate to strong positive correlations between SWB and dust. Increased age and the number of years smoked cigarettes were key determinants for workers exposure. Estimated daily intake through dust ingestion revealed that ΣPCB was higher for both the 50th (0.03 ng/kg bw/day) and 95th (0.09 ng/kg bw/day) percentile exposure scenarios compared to values reported for the general population. This study is one of the first to address the occupational exposure to PCBs and PBDEs in Europe among e-waste workers through biomonitoring combined with analysis of settled dust and SWB. Our findings suggest that e-waste workers may face elevated PCB exposure and that appropriate exposure assessments are needed to establish effective mitigation strategies.
Source (journal)
Environmental research. - Amsterdam, 1967, currens
Amsterdam : Elsevier , 2024
0013-9351 [print]
1096-0953 [online]
250 (2024) , p. 1-13
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The author-created version that incorporates referee comments and is the accepted for publication version Available from 28.08.2024
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Exposure of premature neonates to bisphenol A and phthalates at the intensive care unit: accumulation in hair and long-term neurodevelopmentel and pulmonary toxicity.
From exposome to effect assessment of contaminants in human and animal models (EXPOSOME).
European Human Biomonitoring Iniative (HBM4EU).
European Human Biomonitoring Iniative (HBM4EU).
European Human Biomonitoring Iniative (HBM4EU).
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Publications with a UAntwerp address
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Web of Science
Creation 04.03.2024
Last edited 06.07.2024
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