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Multi-trace element levels and arsenic speciation in urine of e-waste recycling workers from Agbogbloshie, Accra in Ghana

TitleMulti-trace element levels and arsenic speciation in urine of e-waste recycling workers from Agbogbloshie, Accra in Ghana
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsAsante KA, Agusa T, Biney CA, Agyekum WA, Bello M, Otsuka M, Itai T, Takahashi S, Tanabe S
Journal TitleScience of The Total Environment
Volume424
Pages63 - 73
ISSN0048-9697
KeywordsGhana
AbstractTo understand human contamination by multi-trace elements (TEs) in electrical and electronic waste (e-waste) recycling site at Agbogbloshie, Accra in Ghana, this study analyzed TEs and As speciation in urine of e-waste recycling workers. Concentrations of Fe, Sb, and Pb in urine of e-waste recycling workers were significantly higher than those of reference sites after consideration of interaction by age, indicating that the recycling workers are exposed to these TEs through the recycling activity. Urinary As concentration was relatively high, although the level in drinking water was quite low. Speciation analysis of As in human urine revealed that arsenobetaine and dimethylarsinic acid were the predominant As species and concentrations of both species were positively correlated with total As concentration as well as between each other. These results suggest that such compounds may be derived from the same source, probably fish and shellfish and greatly influence As exposure levels. To our knowledge, this is the first study on human contamination resulting from the primitive recycling of e-waste in Ghana. This study will contribute to the knowledge about human exposure to trace elements from an e-waste site in a less industrialized region so far scantly covered in the literature.
URLhttp://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969712002847
DOI10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.02.072
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