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Toxicity of Electronic Waste Leachates to Daphnia magna Screening and Toxicity Identification Evaluation of Different Products, Components, and Materials

TitleToxicity of Electronic Waste Leachates to Daphnia magna Screening and Toxicity Identification Evaluation of Different Products, Components, and Materials
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsLithner D, Halling M, Dave G
Journal TitleArchives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
Volume62
Pages579-588
ISSN0090-4341
AbstractElectronic waste has become one of the fastest growing waste problems in the world. It contains both toxic metals and toxic organics. The aim of this study was to (1) investigate to what extent toxicants can leach from different electronic products, components, and materials into water and (2) identify which group of toxicants (metals or hydrophobic organics) that is causing toxicity. Components from five discarded electronic products (cell phone, computer, phone modem, keyboard, and computer mouse) were leached in deionised water for 3 days at 23°C in concentrations of 25 g/l for metal components, 50 g/l for mixed-material components, and 100 g/l for plastic components. The water phase was tested for acute toxicity to Daphnia magna . Eighteen of 68 leachates showed toxicity (with immobility of D. magna ≥ 50% after 48 h) and came from metal or mixed-material components. The 8 most toxic leachates, with 48 h EC 50 s ranging from 0.4 to 20 g/l, came from 2 circuit sheets (key board), integrated drive electronics (IDE) cable clips (computer), metal studs (computer), a circuit board (computer mouse), a cord (phone modem), mixed parts (cell phone), and a circuit board (key board). All 5 electronic products were represented among them. Toxicity identification evaluations (with C18 and CM resins filtrations and ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid addition) indicated that metals caused the toxicity in the majority of the most toxic leachates. Overall, this study has shown that electronic waste can leach toxic compounds also during short-term leaching with pure water.
URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00244-011-9729-0
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