Date of this Version
Environmental Studies Undergraduate Student Thesis, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2022
Electronic Waste (E-waste) is an inevitable product in our society. At the end of a technological products lifespan, this waste is commonly exported from the Western World to places like Guiyu, China. There the waste has been recycled by melting and dissection of devices. However, these devices contain harmful materials like Lead (Pb) and other heavy metals. These components of the technology process, when not properly dealt with, leach into the citizens’ lives. In 2017, China issued a Prohibition on Foreign Garbage Imports where, while focusing on plastics, limited the waste being brought into the country. This study will compare the blood lead levels (BLLs) collected before this prohibition and after. With the hypothesis that the BLLs have at least fractionally diminished, questions to ask consist of who is most affected by the industry of E-waste recycling’s consequences, what impacts have changed, and why is this important? E-waste is not going to go away because of our technological advancing society and so identifying how it affected populations is a step in mitigating the consequences.