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Environmental effects of heavy metals derived from the e-waste recycling activities in China: A systematic review

Qingbin Song, Jinhui Li
Waste management 2014 v.34 pp. 2587-2594
adverse effects, air, cadmium, chromium, copper, electronic wastes, heavy metals, human health, lead, manufacturing, pollution, recycling, sediments, soil, systematic review, China
As the world’s leading manufacturing country, China has become the largest dumping ground for e-waste, resulting in serious pollution of heavy metals in China. This study reviews recent studies on environmental effects of heavy metals from the e-waste recycling sites in China, especially Taizhou, Guiyu, and Longtang. The intensive uncontrolled processing of e-waste in China has resulted in the release of large amounts of heavy metals in the local environment, and caused high concentrations of metals to be present in the surrounding air, dust, soils, sediments and plants. Though the pollution of many heavy metals was investigated in the relevant researches, the four kinds of heavy metals (Cu, Pb, Cd and Cr) from e-waste recycling processes attracted more attention. The exceedance of various national and international standards imposed negative effects to the environment, which made the local residents face with the serious heavy metal exposure. In order to protect the environment and human health, there is an urgent need to control and monitor the informal e-waste recycling operations.