Electronic Waste

Electronic Waste

Toxicology and Public Health Issues

1st Edition - April 13, 2017

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  • Author: Bruce Fowler
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780128030837
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128030844

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Electronic Waste: Toxicology and Public Health Issues discusses the major public health concerns due to the presence of toxic chemicals that are generated from improper recycling and disposal practices of electronic waste (e-waste). This book highlights hazardous inorganic chemicals found in e-waste, including arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury, gallium, iridium, and nanomaterials, also focusing on health issues related to the presence of BPA, styrene, and other plastic components and combustion products, while also identifying populations at special risk. To provide readers with potential solutions to this global problem, Dr. Fowler presents risk assessment approaches using chemicals, mixtures, biomarkers, susceptibility factors, and computational toxicology. He discusses how to translate the information gathered through risk assessment into safe and effective international policies. The final chapter is devoted to future research directions. This is a timely and useful resource for all those concerned with the health issues surrounding e-waste management and proper disposal, including toxicologists, public health and policy officials, environmental scientists, and risk assessors.

Key Features

  • Offers a well-researched, single authored book and draws attention to the need for better and more informed risk assessment and policymaking in this area
  • Emphasizes the transference of electronic waste (e-waste) to developing countries where populations of concern include children working in recycling activities and impoverished groups with poor nutritional status and limited access to medical resources
  • Reviews, in detail, the issue of exposure to chemical mixtures as a central feature of e-waste due to the presence of a number of organic and inorganic chemicals in modern electronic devices


Toxicologists, risk assessors, public policy professionals, professors and researchers in schools of public health and environmental health, staff of government agencies, NGOs and public health agencies, including WHO, IARC, UNEP, OECD, European Environment Agency and US EPA

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1. Magnitude of the Global E-Waste Problem

    • 1. Scope of the Problem
    • 2. Refurbishing Discarded Electronic Devices
    • 3. Recycling of Devices Manufactured With Newer High Technology Alloy Nanomaterials
    • 4. Global Distribution Steams of E-Waste—Where Does It Go?
    • 5. Uptake of Toxic Chemicals Originating From E-Waste Into Food
    • 6. Biological Effects of E-Waste Chemicals
    • 7. Refurbishing of Outdated Electronic Devices
    • 8. Intercountry Variations in the Collection of Electronic Devices for Recycling
    • 9. Recycling of Component Materials in Electronic Devices
    • 10. Differences in E-Waste Handling Between Developed and Developing Countries
    • 11. Child Labor
    • 12. Occupational and Environmental Safety Issues
    • 13. Landfill Operations
    • 14. Waste Ponds
    • 15. Incineration

    Chapter 2. Metals, Metallic Compounds, Organic Chemicals, and E-Waste Chemical Mixtures

    • Introduction
    • 1. Metals and Metallic Compounds
    • 2. Nanomaterials
    • 3. Representative Organic E-Waste Chemicals
    • 4. Chemical Mixtures Exposures in E-Waste Recycling
    • 5. Risk Assessment Approaches for E-Waste
    • 6. Public Health Implications and Directions Forward
    • 7. Summary and Conclusions

    Chapter 3. Toxicology of E-Waste Chemicals—Mechanisms of Action

    • Introduction
    • 1. Toxic Metals/Metalloids
    • 2. Organic Chemicals

    Chapter 4. Populations at Special Risk

    • 1. In Utero Exposure to E-Waste Chemicals
    • 2. Children
    • 3. Adults of Childbearing Age
    • 4. Elderly
    • 5. Genetic Inheritance
    • 6. Persons of Poor Nutritional Status
    • 7. Subsistence Farmers/Hunters and Fishers/Low Socioeconomic Status
    • 8. Contamination of Local Food Supplies and House Dust

    Chapter 5. Risk Assessment/Risk Communication Approaches for E-Waste Sites

    • 1. Individual Chemical Approaches
    • 2. Mixture Approaches
    • 3. Age, Nutritional, Gender, Socioeconomic Status, and Genetic Susceptibility Factors
    • 4. Perceptions of Risk at Toxic Waste Sites in Relation to Economic and Food Concerns: The Role of Risk Communication
    • 5. Computational Toxicology Approaches

    Chapter 6. Translation of Risk Assessment Information Into Effective International Policies and Actions

    • 1. Communication of Scientific Information in Practical Terminology
    • 2. Information Mapping Technology Approaches
    • 3. Collaborations Among Interested International Stakeholders/Government Agencies/Industrial Groups/NGOs
    • 4. International Conferences and Diplomatic Interactions—Both Formal and Informal

    Chapter 7. Current E-Waste Data Gaps and Future Research Directions

    • 1. Current Gaps in the E-Waste Database
    • 2. Future Research Directions

Product details

  • No. of pages: 100
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2017
  • Published: April 13, 2017
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780128030837
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128030844

About the Author

Bruce Fowler

Bruce Fowler
Dr. Fowler began his scientific career at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences prior to becoming Director of the University of Maryland System-wide Program in Toxicology and Professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He then served as Associate Director for Science in the Division of Toxicology and Environmental Medicine at Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). He is currently a private consultant and Co-owner of Toxicology Risk Assessment Consulting Services (TRACS), LLC. In addition, Dr. Fowler serves as an Adjunct Professor, Emory University Rollins School of Public Health and Presidents Professor of Biomedical Sciences, Center for Alaska Native Health Research (CANHR) at the University of Alaska- Fairbanks. Dr. Fowler, is an internationally recognized expert on the toxicology of metals and has served on a number of State, National and International Committees in his areas of expertise. These include the Maryland Governor’s Council on Toxic Substances (Chair), various National Academy of Sciences / National Research Council Committees, including the 1993 landmark NAS/NRC Report on “Measuring Lead Exposure in Infants Children and Other Sensitive Populations” for which he served as the Committee Chair. He has also served on a number of review committees of the National Institutes of Health, the USEPA Science Advisory Board and the Fulbright Scholarship review committee for Scandinavia (Chair, 2000-2001). In 2016, he became an Inaugural Member of the Fulbright 1946 Society and in 2018 became a member of the Fulbright Association Board of Directors. He has also served as a temporary advisor to the World Health Organization (WHO) and on working groups of the International Agency for Research Against Cancer (IARC) for a number of toxicology and risk assessment issues. He is presently appointed as a member of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) for the period 2016-2020. Dr. Fowler has been honored as a Fellow of the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), a Fulbright Scholar and Swedish Medical Research Council Visiting Professor at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden and elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Toxicological Sciences. His more recent awards include a CDC/ATSDR, Honor Award for Excellence in Leadership Award 2010, The US Pharmacopea (USP) Toxicology Committee 2010-2015 and the USP Elemental Impurities Panel which received the 2014 U.S. Pharmacopea Award for an Innovative Response to Public Health Challenges (Group Award). He is currently appointed to the USP Nanotechnology Subcommittee 2015-. Dr. Fowler was previously elected to the Council of the Society of Toxicology (2005-2007), the Board of Directors of the Academy of Toxicological Sciences (2006-2009), and more recently, to the Council of the Society for Risk Analysis (2014-2017). He is the Federal Legislative and National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association and (NARFE)-PAC Chair for the Rockville Maryland Chapter of NARFE and is currently Chair of the Federal Legislative Committee for the Maryland NARFE Federation. Dr. Fowler is the Past- President of the Rotary Club of North Bethesda, Maryland (2016-2017) and was selected as Rotarian of the Year in 2015 for his work in developing a taxi-based program to help persons with disabilities gain independence via reliable transportation to work. Dr. Fowler is the author of over 260 research papers and book chapters dealing with molecular mechanisms of metal toxicity, molecular biomarkers for early detection of metal-induced cell injury and application of computational toxicology for risk assessment. He has been the editor, co-editor or author of 10 books or monographs on metal toxicology and mechanisms of chemical – induced cell injury, molecular biomarkers and risk assessment and computational toxicology. Dr. Fowler is currently focused on the global problem of electronic waste (e-waste) in developing countries. He serves on the editorial boards of a number of scientific journals in toxicology and is an Associate Editor of the journal Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology and a past Associate Editor of Environmental Health Perspectives (2007-2016).

Affiliations and Expertise

Private Consulting Toxicologist, Adjunct Professor, Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health, and Presidents Professor of Biomedical Research, University of Alaska - Fairbanks

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