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Sci Total Environ. 2012 May 1;424:63-73. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.02.072. Epub 2012 Mar 24.

Multi-trace element levels and arsenic speciation in urine of e-waste recycling workers from Agbogbloshie, Accra in Ghana.

Author information

1
Center for Marine Environmental Studies, Ehime University, Bunkyo-cho 2-5, Matsuyama 790-8577, Japan.

Abstract

To understand human contamination by multi-trace elements (TEs) in electrical and electronic waste (e-waste) recycling site at Agbogbloshie, Accra in Ghana, this study analyzed TEs and As speciation in urine of e-waste recycling workers. Concentrations of Fe, Sb, and Pb in urine of e-waste recycling workers were significantly higher than those of reference sites after consideration of interaction by age, indicating that the recycling workers are exposed to these TEs through the recycling activity. Urinary As concentration was relatively high, although the level in drinking water was quite low. Speciation analysis of As in human urine revealed that arsenobetaine and dimethylarsinic acid were the predominant As species and concentrations of both species were positively correlated with total As concentration as well as between each other. These results suggest that such compounds may be derived from the same source, probably fish and shellfish and greatly influence As exposure levels. To our knowledge, this is the first study on human contamination resulting from the primitive recycling of e-waste in Ghana. This study will contribute to the knowledge about human exposure to trace elements from an e-waste site in a less industrialized region so far scantly covered in the literature.

PMID:
22446112
DOI:
10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.02.072
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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