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PCBs and PCDD/Fs in soil from informal e-waste recycling sites and open dumpsites in India: Levels, congener profiles and health risk assessment
- Chakraborty, Paromita, Selvaraj, Sakthivel, Nakamura, Masafumi, Prithiviraj, Balasubramanian, Cincinelli, Alessandra, Bang, John J.
- The Science of the total environment 2018 v.621 pp. 930-938
- burning, cities, combustion, copper, dibenzofuran, electronic wastes, health effects assessments, markets, models, persistent organic pollutants, polychlorinated biphenyls, polychlorinated dibenzodioxins, polychlorinated dibenzofurans, recycling, shredding, soil, streams, toxicity, India
- Growth of informal electronic waste (e-waste) recycling sector is an emerging problem for India. The presence of halogenated compounds in e-wastes may result in the formation of persistent organic pollutants like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) during recycling processes. We therefore investigated PCBs and PCDD/Fs in surface soils explicitly from the informal e-waste recycling sites and nearby open dumpsites of major metropolitan cities from four corners of India, viz., New Delhi (North), Kolkata (East), Mumbai (West) and Chennai (South). In the informal e-waste recycling sites, the range of Σ26PCBs (0.4–488ng/g) and ƩPCDD/Fs (1.0–10.6ng/g) were higher than Ʃ26PCBs (0.3–21ng/g) and ƩPCDD/Fs (0.15–7.3ng/g) from open dumpsites. In the e-waste sites, ƩPCDDs were found with increasing trend from ƩTetraCDD to OctaCDD, whereas ƩPCDFs showed a reverse trend. The dominance of PCDF congeners and maximum toxicity equivalents (TEQ) for both PCDDs (17pg TEQ/g) and PCDFs (82pg TEQ/g) at Mandoli in New Delhi has been related to intensive precious metal recovery process using acid bath. Among dumpsites, highest TEQ for PCDD/Fs was observed at Kodangaiyur dumpsite of Chennai (CNDS-02, 45pg TEQ/g). Positive Matrix Factorization (PMF) model identified distinct congener pattern based on the functional activities, such as e-waste dismantling, shredding, precious metal recovery and open burning in dumpsites. E-waste metal recovery factor was loaded with 86–91% of PCB-77, -105, -114, -118 and 30% of PCB-126, possibly associated with the burning of wires during the copper extraction process. Almost 70% of the Ʃ26PCB concentrations was comprised of the dioxin-like PCB congeners with a maximum concentration of 437ng/g at New Moore market in Chennai, followed by Wire Lane (102ng/g), in Mumbai. We speculate that PCB-126 might have resulted from combustion of plastic materials in e-waste stream and dumped waste.