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Environmental risk assessment at an informal E-waste recycling site in Lagos State, Nigeria

Image of children sorting through e-Waste

E-waste an acronym for electronic waste is an emerging environmental problem as rapid technological innovations has resulted in electronics having a short end of life. Presently, e-waste is being exported to developing countries that do not possess the infrastructure to handle the waste due to the fact that exports are cheaper than managing the waste domestically. E-waste contains valuable materials such as aluminium, copper, gold, silver and iron that are recovered by recycling thus contributing to sustainable environmental management. However, on the other hand, e-waste also contains hazardous substances such as cadmium, lead, nickel and flame retardants which could be detrimental to the environment and human health. In Nigeria, for example, e-waste ends up in landfills and are informally recycled using primitive techniques with no regard to the environment, health or workers safety.  Activities carried out include dismantling of the different electronic waste and burning of wires and other parts to recover valuable materials for resale. The soil being the main receptor of e-waste is a significant environmental media provides information about the level, distribution, and fate of contaminants present in the environment. Exposure to contaminated soil is an important pathway in human health risk as contaminants can directly pose significant risks through oral ingestion, particle inhalation, and dermal contact.  The study is aimed at evaluating the risks posed to the environment by the recycling activities.

Image of e-Waste landfillImage of children sorting through e-Waste Image of e-Waste fire hazard

Selected conference speeches and poster presentations

Isimekhai K.A, Garelick H., Watt J., Purchase D. 2015. Analysis of contaminated soil at an e-waste recycling site. A case study of Lagos, Nigeria. 15th EuCheMS International Conference on Chemistry and the Environment. Leipzig, Germany, 20-24th September 2015.

Isimekhai  K.A, Watt J., Garelick H.,Purchase D. 2014. Environmental Risk Associated with Improper e-waste Activities in Lagos, Nigeria. 23rd Society for Risk Analysis Europe Conference, Istanbul, Turkey 16-18 June 2014. (Won best poster prize).

Isimekhai K.A, Watt .J, Garelick .H, Purchase .D (2014). Perception of Workers at an Improper Electronic Waste Recycling Site in Lagos State, Nigeria. . 23rd Society for Risk Analysis Europe Conference, Istanbul, Turkey 16-18 June 2014.

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