Introduction The growing amount of waste derived from electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) poses significant challenges to waste management, due to the presence of toxic chemicals with environmental and health implications for the general population and for occupationally-exposed workers. Methods Based on an toxicological and epidemiologic evaluation, we carried out a health risk assessment to evaluate the cancer risk deriving from environmental and occupational exposure to heavy metals released during different WEEE recycling procedures (electronic scrap in blister copper, treatment of metals recovery in copper smelter, treatment of shredding, pyrometallurgical treatment of Li-ion battery). We considered the typical WEEE production in a municipality of 150.0000 inhabitants, carrying out a Life Cycle Assessment. Outdoor (1km2 around a treatment plant) and indoor (for a factory volume of 3200m3) emissions generated during the WEEE recycling procedures were computed. In particular, we estimated the amount of Cd, Ni and As inhaled by the potentially exposed population. We computed the cancer risk due to inhalation of these heavy metals in residents and workers using the methodology proposed by the California Office of Environmental Health and Hazard Assessment Results For the metals considered, our results showed negligible cancer risk (from 2,21x10-11 to 4,31x10-08) for the general population around the plant. On the converse, occupational exposures linked to specific procedures were associated with a cancer risk of 1,42x10-3 for workers in the shredding procedures mainly due to Ni exposure, and of 4,68x10-4 for workers with electronic scrap and exposed to As. Conclusions Based on our preliminary results from an integrated toxicological and epidemiologic approach, WEEE life cycle may be linked to health risks for workers in the recycling procedures, while it does not seem to adversely affect health of the general population around the treatment plants.

Assessing cancer risk from heavy metal exposure in recycling waste of electrical and electronic equipment: preliminary results from the Weeenmodels European Life Programme / Violi, Federica; Modenese, Alberto; Gobba, Fabriziomaria; Ferrari, Anna Maria; Rimini, Bianca; Gamberini, Rita; Pini, M; Neri, P; Filippini, Tommaso; Grasselli, Luigi; Montanari, P; Vinceti, Marco. - 124:S1(2016), p. 4754. ((Intervento presentato al convegno 28th Annual Conference International Society for Environmental Epidemiology Old and new risks: challenges for environmental epidemiology tenutosi a Roma nel 1-4 September 2016 [10.1289/ehp.isee2016].

Assessing cancer risk from heavy metal exposure in recycling waste of electrical and electronic equipment: preliminary results from the Weeenmodels European Life Programme.

Violi, Federica;MODENESE, ALBERTO;GOBBA, Fabriziomaria;FERRARI, Anna Maria;RIMINI, Bianca;GAMBERINI, Rita;FILIPPINI, TOMMASO;GRASSELLI, Luigi;VINCETI, Marco
2016

Abstract

Introduction The growing amount of waste derived from electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) poses significant challenges to waste management, due to the presence of toxic chemicals with environmental and health implications for the general population and for occupationally-exposed workers. Methods Based on an toxicological and epidemiologic evaluation, we carried out a health risk assessment to evaluate the cancer risk deriving from environmental and occupational exposure to heavy metals released during different WEEE recycling procedures (electronic scrap in blister copper, treatment of metals recovery in copper smelter, treatment of shredding, pyrometallurgical treatment of Li-ion battery). We considered the typical WEEE production in a municipality of 150.0000 inhabitants, carrying out a Life Cycle Assessment. Outdoor (1km2 around a treatment plant) and indoor (for a factory volume of 3200m3) emissions generated during the WEEE recycling procedures were computed. In particular, we estimated the amount of Cd, Ni and As inhaled by the potentially exposed population. We computed the cancer risk due to inhalation of these heavy metals in residents and workers using the methodology proposed by the California Office of Environmental Health and Hazard Assessment Results For the metals considered, our results showed negligible cancer risk (from 2,21x10-11 to 4,31x10-08) for the general population around the plant. On the converse, occupational exposures linked to specific procedures were associated with a cancer risk of 1,42x10-3 for workers in the shredding procedures mainly due to Ni exposure, and of 4,68x10-4 for workers with electronic scrap and exposed to As. Conclusions Based on our preliminary results from an integrated toxicological and epidemiologic approach, WEEE life cycle may be linked to health risks for workers in the recycling procedures, while it does not seem to adversely affect health of the general population around the treatment plants.
28th Annual Conference International Society for Environmental Epidemiology Old and new risks: challenges for environmental epidemiology
Roma
1-4 September 2016
Violi, Federica; Modenese, Alberto; Gobba, Fabriziomaria; Ferrari, Anna Maria; Rimini, Bianca; Gamberini, Rita; Pini, M; Neri, P; Filippini, Tommaso; Grasselli, Luigi; Montanari, P; Vinceti, Marco
Assessing cancer risk from heavy metal exposure in recycling waste of electrical and electronic equipment: preliminary results from the Weeenmodels European Life Programme / Violi, Federica; Modenese, Alberto; Gobba, Fabriziomaria; Ferrari, Anna Maria; Rimini, Bianca; Gamberini, Rita; Pini, M; Neri, P; Filippini, Tommaso; Grasselli, Luigi; Montanari, P; Vinceti, Marco. - 124:S1(2016), p. 4754. ((Intervento presentato al convegno 28th Annual Conference International Society for Environmental Epidemiology Old and new risks: challenges for environmental epidemiology tenutosi a Roma nel 1-4 September 2016 [10.1289/ehp.isee2016].
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