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You are here : eLibrary : IAHR World Congress Proceedings : 35th IAHR Congress - Chengdu (2013) : THEME 4 - HYDRO-ENVIRONMENT : Primitive E-Waste Recycling Practices in Ghana: The Releases and Effects of Persistent Organic Pollu...
Primitive E-Waste Recycling Practices in Ghana: The Releases and Effects of Persistent Organic Pollutants on the Aquatic Environment
Author : Philip Nti Nkrumah, Desmond Ofosu Anim, Jingyu Huang and Akosua Korantenmaa Agadzi
This study explores the potential devastating effects that the releases of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) as a result of primitive e-waste management practices in Ghana have on the aquatic ecosystems. The anthropogenic activities in the catchments of water bodies in Africa have deleterious impacts on water quality and subsequently, on the aquatic organisms. This poses great challenge to water quality management and sustainability. One of such activities is the primitive recycling of e-waste within water catchments in Africa. It is estimated that the annual e-waste generated worldwide is 20-50 million tons. The unfortunate aspect is that between 50-80% are probably exported to countries like Ghana, China, India and Nigeria. Ghana has been identified as a popular dumping ground for old electronics. This has led to the accumulation of large hazardous e-waste volumes which are poorly managed due to lack of proper systems for recycling and disposal in the country. The recycling activities at the Ghanaian scrap yards mainly include dismantling, open burning as well as uncontrolled dumping. Because e-waste contains a multitude of harmful substances that may be released as the waste is handled and processed, the uncontrolled dumping and inappropriate recycling of the e-waste in the country poses serious threats to human health and the environment at large. Regrettably, data on the adverse impacts of e-waste on the environment is very limited. However, the close proximity of the e-waste disposal site to water bodies coupled with inappropriate management options, in addition to favorable local factors such as climatic conditions as well as topographical features poses serious threat to the aquatic organisms in these water bodies. For instance, the Korle Lagoon in the nearby estuary has become one of the most polluted water bodies on earth. Hence, this study solely focused on the releases of POPs into the local water environment during primitive e-waste recycling in Ghana. The adverse effects on the aquatic ecosystems were also highlighted. Extensive literature was reviewed. Information was acquired through a thorough desk research. The study revealed that exorbitantly high concentrations of POPs have been detected in the sediment of the surrounding water bodies. Previous studies confirm that these observations are due to the rudimentary e-waste recycling practices in the area. The potential adverse impacts were predicted by comparing the exposure concentrations to effects concentrations of some selected POPs that are found in the sediment of the surrounding water bodies. It was evident that these POPs have dire effects on the physiology, metabolism, reproduction and growth of the aquatic organisms. This study provides vital information for water resource professionals in Africa as well as other parts of the world, such as Asia, which have similar challenges. The study brings to light the need to adopt appropriate measures within water catchments to ensure sustainability of the water bodies. Given that the potential ecotoxicological Primitive E-Waste Recycling Practices in Ghana: The Releases and Effects of Persistent Organic Pollutants on the Aquatic Environment Philip Nti Nkrumah Graduate Student, College of Environment, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, China. Email: philiponti1209@yahoo.com Desmond Ofosu Anim, Graduate Student, College of Environment, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, China. Email: desofosa@gmail.com Jingyu Huang, Doctor, College of Environment, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, China. E-mail: huangjingyu120120@126.com Akosua Korantenmaa Agadzi, Graduate Student, College of Environment, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, China. Email: akoska2007@yahoo.com impacts are severe coupled with inadequate data, further research is required.
File Size : 442,918 bytes
File Type : Adobe Acrobat Document
Chapter : IAHR World Congress Proceedings
Category : 35th IAHR Congress - Chengdu (2013)
Article : THEME 4 - HYDRO-ENVIRONMENT
Date Published : 18/07/2016
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