Workers at electronics recycling facilities exposed to toxic metals

Employees at three U.S. electronic scrap recycling facilities were overexposed to metals known to cause serious health effects—including cancer as well as respiratory, neurologic, renal, and reproductive damage—according to a new study led by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

At the plants, where workers repair or dismantle discarded computers, office electronic equipment, cell phones, and televisions, researchers found metals on non-production surfaces, as well as on the skin and clothing of employees before they left work. Workers were overexposed to both lead and cadmium.

Led by Diana Ceballos, visiting scientist and JPG Environmental Health Fellow at Harvard Chan School, the study team recommended ways to reduce metal contamination in air and on surfaces and ways for workers to prevent taking home metal dust.

Read the study: Metal Exposures at three U.S. Electronic Scrap Recycling Facilities

Learn more

Many electronic recycling companies put workers, environment at risk (Harvard Chan School news)