Environmental impact of e‑waste management in Indian microscale informal sectors

Dasgupta, Dipsikha, Majumder, Santanu, Adhikari, Jishnu, Ghosh, Pinaki, Purchase, Diane ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8071-4385, Garelick, Hemda ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4568-2300, Debsarkar, Anupam and Chatterjee, Debashis (2022) Environmental impact of e‑waste management in Indian microscale informal sectors. Environmental Science and Pollution Research . ISSN 0944-1344 [Article] (Published online first) (doi:10.1007/s11356-022-23700-7)

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Inappropriate e-waste processing in the informal sector is a serious issue in developing countries. Field investigations in microscale informal recycling sites have been performed to study the impact of hazardous metal(loid)s (released from e-waste dismantling) on the environment (water and soil). Eight hazardous metal(loid)s (Pb, Cd, Cu, Zn, As, Hg, Ni, and Cr) were primarily found in the monitored water and soil samples (Sangrampur, West Bengal) because of widespread informal e-waste handling and primitive processing. Elevated concentrations of Cd, Pb, As, Cu, and Cr were observed in pond water samples (0.04, 1.62, 0.03, 1.40, 1.74 mg/L respectively). These ponds, which are regularly used for e-waste handling/dismantling, are usually flooded during the monsoon season mixing with further larger water resources — posing a serious threat to public health. Enriched levels of Pb, Cd, Cu, and Zn were detected in collected soil samples, both top surface soil (Pb up to 2042.27 ± 206.80, Cd up to 25.90 ± 9.53, Cu up to 6967.30 ± 711.70, and Zn up to 657.10 ± 67.05 mg/Kg) and deeper subsurface soil (Pb, 419.70 ± 44.70; Cd, 18.34 ± 3.81; Cu, 3928.60 ± 356.40; and Zn, 134.40 ± 33.40 mg/Kg), compared to the levels of As, Hg, Ni, and Cr. Seasonal variation of soil metal(loid) content indicated that higher levels of most of the metal(loids) were detected in the pre-monsoon (Nov–May) season, possibly due to the monsoonal dilution effect, except for Pb and Cd. The results highlighted that the composition and the handling of e-waste were important factors affecting the metal(loid) concentrations. E-waste policy and legislation have great influence on the handling and disposal procedures. An improved e-waste management practice has been proposed to encourage eco-friendly and safe e-waste disposal. It is recommended that regulatory agencies and manufacturers should create a road map to convince the informal sector to develop a systematic approach towards a more standardized formal e-waste management practices at the microscale field level.

Item Type: Article
Sustainable Development Goals:
Keywords (uncontrolled): E-waste, Informal sectors, Hazardous metal(loid)s, Environmental pollution, Policy implications
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology
Item ID: 36823
Notes on copyright: This version of the article has been accepted for publication, after peer review (when applicable) and is subject to Springer Nature’s AM terms of use, but is not the Version of Record and does not reflect post-acceptance improvements, or any corrections. The Version of Record is available online at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-022-23700-7
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Diane Purchase
Date Deposited: 23 Nov 2022 12:05
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2022 10:31
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/36823

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