Temporal trends (2005-2009) of PCDD/Fs, PCBs, PBDEs in rice hulls from an e-waste dismantling area after stricter environmental regulations

Jianjie Fu, Thanh Wang, Pu Wang, Guangbo Qu, Yawei Wang, Qinghua Zhang, Aiqian Zhang, Guibin Jiang
Chemosphere 2012, 88 (3): 330-5
Primitive e-waste dismantling activities have been of increasing concern due to serious environmental and human health problems, and therefore authorities in China have strengthened the regulations on illegal e-waste recycling activities. In this work, we used rice hull as a passive sampler and investigated temporal trends of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in areas near e-waste recycling sites after the stricter regulations. Furthermore, the distribution patterns and composition profiles of these contaminants were also discussed. The average concentrations of the three groups of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in rice hulls have markedly decreased during the period of 2005-2009. Specifically, from 12.9 (average value in 2005) to 0.37 pg WHO-TEQ/g (dry weight, dw) (in 2009) for PCDD/Fs, 47.6 (2005) to 7.10 ng g(-1)dw (2009) for PCBs, and 2.51 (2005) to 0.89 ng g(-1), dw (2009) for PBDEs. The significant decrease of combustion markers 2,3,4,7,8-PeCDF, 1,2,3,6,7,8HxCDF and PCB126, and the PCDD/PCDF ratio from 1:9 (2005) to 7:3 (2009) is likely a result of stricter regulations on open combustion activities. This study suggests that stricter control measures, strengthened laws and regulations and more environmental friendly techniques could be effective measures in reducing the release and formation of related POPs in typical e-waste dismantling sites, and these measures could further improve the quality of the environment and health of the local inhabitants.

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