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Environ Int. 2019 Mar;124:1-9. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2018.12.035. Epub 2019 Jan 17.

Human exposure to phthalate esters associated with e-waste dismantling: Exposure levels, sources, and risk assessment.

Author information

1
School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China; Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Environmental Pollution Control and Remediation Technology (Sun Yat-Sen University), Guangzhou 510275, China.
2
School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China; Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Environmental Pollution Control and Remediation Technology (Sun Yat-Sen University), Guangzhou 510275, China. Electronic address: zhangt47@mail.sysu.edu.cn.
3
MOE Key Laboratory of Pollution Processes and Environmental Criteria, College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Nankai University, Tianjin 300071, China.
4
School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China.
5
MOE Key Laboratory of Pollution Processes and Environmental Criteria, College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Nankai University, Tianjin 300071, China. Electronic address: sunhongwen@nankai.edu.cn.

Abstract

Phthalate esters (PAEs) can be released into the environment during the dismantling of electronic waste (e-waste), but urinary levels of PAE metabolites (mPAEs) in humans living in e-waste sites have not been documented. In this study, 11 mPAEs were determined in urine samples collected from participants living in e-waste dismantling sites and a reference area in Southern China. The total urinary concentrations of the 11 mPAEs (∑mPAEs) in the e-waste sites (range: 11.1 ng/mL to 3380 ng/mL) were dominated by mono-(2-isobutyl) phthalate and mono-n-butyl phthalate. Participants living in the e-waste sites had significantly higher (p < 0.05) urinary concentrations of ∑mPAEs (and 5 individual mPAEs) than those in the reference area. Hence, e-waste dismantling activities contributed to human exposure to PAEs. The exposure doses of di-n-butyl phthalate, di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate, di-iso-butyl phthalate, dimethyl phthalate, and diethyl phthalate were 3.41, 3.04, 1.37, 0.25, and 0.20 μg/kg bw/day, respectively. Furthermore, the health risk assessment in terms of hazard quotient and hazard index showed that approximately 22% of the participants living in the e-waste sites had HI values exceeding 1; importantly, 68% of them were non-adults (i.e., 0-18 years old). In the e-waste sites, 8 of the 11 mPAEs in urine samples had significantly positively associations (r = 0.185-0.358, p < 0.05) with the urinary concentration of 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine, a marker of DNA oxidative stress. Therefore, people living in e-waste dismantling areas may have a potential health risk caused by PAE exposure. To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first to measure urinary mPAE levels in people living in e-waste dismantling areas.

KEYWORDS:

Cumulative risk assessment; E-waste dismantling area; Human exposure; Oxidative stress; Phthalates

PMID:
30639902
DOI:
10.1016/j.envint.2018.12.035
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