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Unregulated electronic waste (e-waste) recycling operations have become a significant environmental issue as well as human health risk in developing countries across the world. The present study evaluated the extent of pollution in Agbogbloshie e-waste recycling site in Accra, Ghana. The concentrations of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and some selected trace metals were determined using gas chromatography electron impact ionization mass spectrometry and flame atomic absorption spectrophotometry, respectively. The concentrations of ∑ PBDEs ranged from 15.6 to 96.8ngg-1 dry weight, with an overall mean of 54.8ngg-1dw. BDE-28 was the dominant congener followed by BDE-209 and BDE-47. The order of mean concentrations of the abundant trace metals was Fe>Cu>Pb≫Mn, with a mean range of .531-289mgkg-1. Geoaccumulation index suggested that the surface soils deteriorated from moderate to high metal pollution, particularly for Cu, Pb and Fe. Of the trace metals analysed, Fe exhibited the highest concentration ranging from 3.97 to 918mgkg-1. Correlation and principal component analyses suggested possible interactions between PBDEs and the trace metals analysed, while source assessment suggested that PBDEs and trace metals were mostly derived from inputs from the e-waste recycling activities. Average daily dose (ADD) was estimated using concentrations corresponding to 5th percentile, median and 95th percentile. Hazard quotients of 380 and 862 were obtained for adults and children respectively, for Cu and Pb which is a cause for concern especially for local children. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Inc.


Eric Akortia, Olubiyi I Olukunle, Adegbenro P Daso, Jonathan O Okonkwo. Soil concentrations of polybrominated diphenyl ethers and trace metals from an electronic waste dump site in the Greater Accra Region, Ghana: Implications for human exposure. Ecotoxicology and environmental safety. 2017 Mar;137:247-255

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PMID: 27978452

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