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Issue 4, 2011
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Short-range transport of contaminants released from e-waste recycling site in South China

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Abstract

The transport behaviors of a suite of contaminants released from electronic waste (e-waste) recycling operations, including polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and heavy metals, were evaluated by analyzing the contaminant residues in surface soils sampled in the surrounding area of an e-waste recycling site in South China. Concentrations of PBDEs and PCBs in the soil samples ranged from 0.565 to 2908 ng g−1 dw and from 0.267 to 1891 ng g−1 dw, respectively, while soil residues were 0.082–2.56, 3.22–287, and 16.3–162 μg g−1 dw for Cd, Cu, and Pb, respectively. Concentrations of PBDEs and PCBs in soil decreased with increasing distance from the source of pollution, indicating possible PBDE and PCB contamination in the surrounding areas due to the short-range transport of these compounds from the e-waste recycling site. Although no significant difference in the short-range transport potential among PBDE and PCB congeners was observed, reductions in concentrations of the highly-brominated-BDEs and highly-chlorinated-CBs were slightly quicker than those of their less-halogen-substituted counterparts. Conversely, heavy metals showed the lowest transport potential due to their low vapor pressure, and results showed metals would remain near the pollution source instead of diffusing into the surrounding areas. Finally, mass inventories in areas near the e-waste site were 0.920, 0.134, 0.860, 4.68, 757, and 673 tons for BDE209, PBDEs (excluding BDE209), PCBs, Cd, Cu, and Pb, respectively.

Graphical abstract: Short-range transport of contaminants released from e-waste recycling site in South China

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Publication details

The article was received on 31 Oct 2010, accepted on 27 Jan 2011 and first published on 22 Feb 2011


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C0EM00633E
Citation: J. Environ. Monit., 2011,13, 836-843
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    Short-range transport of contaminants released from e-waste recycling site in South China

    H. Li, J. Bai, Y. Li, H. Cheng, E. Y. Zeng and J. You, J. Environ. Monit., 2011, 13, 836
    DOI: 10.1039/C0EM00633E

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