Week 6: Health Impact

Tejasvi S -

Hello! Welcome to week 6 of the senior project blog! The last blob was about the environmental impact e-waste has. This week we will go into the adverse impact on human health.

E-waste that is not formally recycled causes adverse health effects on the human body. Previous experiments have been conducted with each testing a specific category of human illnesses. Many of these experiments have been conducted in towns/villages from third-world countries that facilitate informal e-waste recycling either within the town/village or nearby the town/village (Parvez et al. 2021). One of the most prevalent areas of health concern in these areas is prenatal, neonatal, and pediatric development. Numerous prior studies concluded that exposure to e-waste has been linked to adverse pregnancy outcomes such as spontaneous abortions, stillbirths, premature births, and reduced birth weights (Parvez et al. 2021; Grant et al. 2013; Lin et al. 2021; Adam et al 2021;Verma and Prakash 2020). Additionally, children and newborns living in areas with e-waste recycling have shown lower physical growth indicators such as weight, height, and body-mass index compared to those in control areas. They have also shown lower cognitive and language scores, sensory processing difficulties, and behavioral abnormalities. Lead exposure, in particular, has been linked to impaired growth and poorer neurodevelopmental outcomes (Parvez et al. 2021; Grant et al. 2013; Lin et al. 2021; Adam et al 2021; Verma and Prakash 2020). Exposure to e-waste has also been proven to increase genotoxicity and micronucleus rates, which can lead to DNA damage; these issues can lead to an increased risk of cancer and other genetic disorders (Parvez et al. 2021; Grant et al. 2013; Lin et al. 2021; Adam et al 2021). Previous studies have also suggested that e-waste exposure can also lead to many chronic conditions and/or issues with the respiratory, cardiovascular, and immune human body systems (Parvez et al. 2021; Grant et al. 2013; Lin et al. 2021). 

I hope you learned about how dangerous e-waste can be, so make sure to recycle your e-waste! See you next week!

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