Informal E-waste recycling in developing countries

review of metal(loid)s pollution, environmental impacts and transport pathways

Michael Ackah*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

    14 Citations (Scopus)


    Crude or primitive recycling practices are often adopted in material resource recovery from E-waste in developing nations. Significant human health and environmental impacts may occur because of such practices. Literature on metal(loid)s pollution during E-waste processing is fragmented. Here, I review the health and environmental impacts of E-waste recycling operations and transport pathways of metal(loid)s, dispersed during operations. This paper is organised into five sections. Section 1 relates to the background of global E-waste generation and legal/illegal trade, citing specific cases from Ghana and other developing nations. Section 2 provides a brief information on sources of metal(loid)s in E-waste. Section 3 describes characteristics of informal E-waste recycling operations in developing nations. Section 4 examines the health and environmental impacts in E-waste recycling while section 5 evaluates major transport pathways of metal(loid)s contaminants.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)24092-24101
    Number of pages10
    JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
    Issue number31
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017


    • E-waste processing
    • health and environmental impacts
    • metal(loid)s
    • pathways

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