A relative risk assessment of the open burning of WEEE

Alessandra Cesaro, Vincenzo Belgiorno, Giuliana Gorrasi, Gianluca Viscusi, Mentore Vaccari, Giovanni Vinti, Aleksander Jandric, Maria Isabel Dias, Andrew Hursthouse, Stefan Salhofer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Waste Electric and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) represents a potential secondary source of valuable materials, whose recovery is a growing business activity worldwide. In low-income countries recycling is carried out under poorly controlled conditions resulting in severe environmental pollution. High concentrations of both metallic and organic pollutants have been confirmed in air, soil, water and sediments in countries with informal recycling areas. The release of these contaminants into the environment presents a risk to the health of the exposed population that has been widely acknowledged, but still needs to be quantified. The aim of this work was to evaluate the relative risk from inhalation associated with the open burning of different kinds of WEEE. The Shrinking-Core Model was applied to estimate the concentration of the metals which would be released into the environment during the incineration of different types of WEEE. In addition the potential generation of dioxins during the same informal practice was estimated, based on the plastic content of the WEEE. The results provided for the first time a comparative analysis of the risk posed from the open burning of WEEE components, proposing a methodology to address the absolute risk assessment to workers from the informal recycling of WEEE.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11042-11052
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Volume26
Early online date21 Feb 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019

Fingerprint

Electronic Waste
Electric equipment
electronic equipment
Risk assessment
risk assessment
Electronic equipment
Equipment and Supplies
Recycling
recycling
equipment component
Incineration
Environmental Pollution
Dioxins
Waste incineration
Organic pollutants
incineration
organic pollutant
dioxin
Inhalation
Plastics

Keywords

  • Air pollutants
  • Electronic waste
  • Environmental risk assessment
  • Informal recycling

Cite this

Cesaro, A., Belgiorno, V., Gorrasi, G., Viscusi, G., Vaccari, M., Vinti, G., ... Salhofer, S. (2019). A relative risk assessment of the open burning of WEEE. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 26, 11042-11052. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-019-04282-3
Cesaro, Alessandra ; Belgiorno, Vincenzo ; Gorrasi, Giuliana ; Viscusi, Gianluca ; Vaccari, Mentore ; Vinti, Giovanni ; Jandric, Aleksander ; Dias, Maria Isabel ; Hursthouse, Andrew ; Salhofer, Stefan. / A relative risk assessment of the open burning of WEEE. In: Environmental Science and Pollution Research. 2019 ; Vol. 26. pp. 11042-11052.
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Cesaro, A, Belgiorno, V, Gorrasi, G, Viscusi, G, Vaccari, M, Vinti, G, Jandric, A, Dias, MI, Hursthouse, A & Salhofer, S 2019, 'A relative risk assessment of the open burning of WEEE', Environmental Science and Pollution Research, vol. 26, pp. 11042-11052. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-019-04282-3

A relative risk assessment of the open burning of WEEE. / Cesaro, Alessandra; Belgiorno, Vincenzo; Gorrasi, Giuliana; Viscusi, Gianluca; Vaccari, Mentore; Vinti, Giovanni; Jandric, Aleksander; Dias, Maria Isabel; Hursthouse, Andrew; Salhofer, Stefan.

In: Environmental Science and Pollution Research, Vol. 26, 01.04.2019, p. 11042-11052.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - A relative risk assessment of the open burning of WEEE

AU - Cesaro, Alessandra

AU - Belgiorno, Vincenzo

AU - Gorrasi, Giuliana

AU - Viscusi, Gianluca

AU - Vaccari, Mentore

AU - Vinti, Giovanni

AU - Jandric, Aleksander

AU - Dias, Maria Isabel

AU - Hursthouse, Andrew

AU - Salhofer, Stefan

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Y1 - 2019/4/1

N2 - Waste Electric and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) represents a potential secondary source of valuable materials, whose recovery is a growing business activity worldwide. In low-income countries recycling is carried out under poorly controlled conditions resulting in severe environmental pollution. High concentrations of both metallic and organic pollutants have been confirmed in air, soil, water and sediments in countries with informal recycling areas. The release of these contaminants into the environment presents a risk to the health of the exposed population that has been widely acknowledged, but still needs to be quantified. The aim of this work was to evaluate the relative risk from inhalation associated with the open burning of different kinds of WEEE. The Shrinking-Core Model was applied to estimate the concentration of the metals which would be released into the environment during the incineration of different types of WEEE. In addition the potential generation of dioxins during the same informal practice was estimated, based on the plastic content of the WEEE. The results provided for the first time a comparative analysis of the risk posed from the open burning of WEEE components, proposing a methodology to address the absolute risk assessment to workers from the informal recycling of WEEE.

AB - Waste Electric and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) represents a potential secondary source of valuable materials, whose recovery is a growing business activity worldwide. In low-income countries recycling is carried out under poorly controlled conditions resulting in severe environmental pollution. High concentrations of both metallic and organic pollutants have been confirmed in air, soil, water and sediments in countries with informal recycling areas. The release of these contaminants into the environment presents a risk to the health of the exposed population that has been widely acknowledged, but still needs to be quantified. The aim of this work was to evaluate the relative risk from inhalation associated with the open burning of different kinds of WEEE. The Shrinking-Core Model was applied to estimate the concentration of the metals which would be released into the environment during the incineration of different types of WEEE. In addition the potential generation of dioxins during the same informal practice was estimated, based on the plastic content of the WEEE. The results provided for the first time a comparative analysis of the risk posed from the open burning of WEEE components, proposing a methodology to address the absolute risk assessment to workers from the informal recycling of WEEE.

KW - Air pollutants

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Cesaro A, Belgiorno V, Gorrasi G, Viscusi G, Vaccari M, Vinti G et al. A relative risk assessment of the open burning of WEEE. Environmental Science and Pollution Research. 2019 Apr 1;26:11042-11052. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-019-04282-3