Miss Qingyuan Dai


Informal e-waste recycling activities lead to lots of harmful chemicals release into the environment, such as heavy metal and persistent organic pollutants. People living in e-waste recycling areas may be exposed to these chemicals at a relatively high level. E-waste exposure is associated with lots of adverse health outcomes which has been proved by plenty of epidemiological studies 1. Children are at the critical window of growth and development and they are more vulnerable to e-waste exposure. Our study is to investigate the mechanism underlying the adverse effects of e-waste exposure at the metabolic level. Liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC-MS)-based urinary metabolomics of preschool children living in e-waste recycling areas was performed. Children living 30km far away from e-waste recycling area are also detected as a reference group. The identified potential biomarkers showed that amino acid metabolism such as aminoacyl-tRNA biosynthesis, arginine metabolism, purine metabolism, and phenylalanine and tyrosine metabolism were primarily influenced compared with reference group. The results indicated that e-waste exposure of children may cause neurotoxicity, oxidative damage by disrupting the protein syntheses and energy metabolism. The study outcomes may help better understand the health effects of e-waste exposure and improve health policy concerning more on vulnerable children.

  1. Grant K, Goldizen FC, Sly PD, Brune MN, Neira M, van den Berg M, Norman RE. Health consequences of exposure to e-waste: a systematic review. The lancet global health. 2013 Dec 1;1(6):e350-61

University: HKBU

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