Electronic and electrical waste (E-waste) is a waste type consisting of any broken or unwanted electrical or electronic appliance. Obsolete E-waste has become a serious problem. Many previous studies showed that persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and heavy metals caused serious contamination in air, soil, sediment and freshwater. It is drawing more and more attentions because of its adverse impacts on environment and human health. According to the State Environmental Protection Administration of China, 70% of worldwide e-waste has been sent to China. Taizhou region in Zhejiang Province is one of the most intensive E-waste processing sites in China. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were widely used worldwide as coolants and insulators in electrical capacitors and transformers, and as plasticizers in paint and rubber sealant. Large quantities of PCBs have since entered the environment through leakage, disposal, and evaporation. PCBs stability is also responsible for their continued presence in the environment even decades. Environmental levels of PCBs are traditionally measured as total PCB based on Aroclor equivalent analysis, as opposed to congener-specific concentrations, due to analytical limitations and/or cost differentials. To evaluate the true risk of PCBs to human and ecosystem health, more complex and, in turn, costly Dioxin-Like PCB-specific analytical methods (e. g., U. S. EPA method 1668a) are available. Dioxin-like PCBs (dl-PCBs) are a group of 12 PCBs that share a common toxic mechanism with the most toxic dioxin compound (i.e., 2 3, 7, 8-tetrachlorodibenzop-dioxin or 2, 3, 7, 8-TCDD) and generally are among the most toxic PCB congeners as they incur toxic effects at relatively lower concentrations than those of non-dl-PCBs. In the present study, samples of winkle, loach and crucian carp were collected from the e-waste area (Taizhou, Zhejing) in 2006. DI-PCBs were determined in the samples using isotope dilution Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (CC/MS) method. Our results showed that the average concentrations of PCBs were 1303. 53, 3845. 00 and 5645. 34 ng/g lipid weight in winkle, loach and crucian carp, respectively. Toxic equivalencies (TEQs) were determined to be 1.35, 8.44 and 29.18 pg WHO-TEQ/g wet weight in winkle, leach and crucian carp, respectively. TEQs in winkle and crucian carp exceed the European maximum permissible level (2006) of TEQs in fish for human food. In addition, PCB 118 was major congener and constituted 57.73%-61.22% and 44.27%-50.61% of total PCBs and TEQs, respectively. Furthermore, PCB 118 was found to have linear correlations to the total PCBs and TEQs. The correlative coefficients (R-2) were 0.9988 (P < 0.0001) and 0.9873 (P < 0.0001). These results indicated that aquatic organisms from the e-waste area have been seriously contaminated by PCBs which might come from Aroclor 1254 released from E-waste dismantling.
Zhang Xiao-Ling (firstname.lastname@example.org) ; Yang Fang-Xing; Wen Sheng; Jin Shi-Wei; Hui Yang; Xu Ying (email@example.com).CONGENER PATTERN AND TOXICITY OF POLYCHLORINATED BIPHENYLS IN AQUATIC ORGANISMS FROM AN ELECTRONIC AND ELECTRICAL WASTE AREA,Acta Hydrobiologica Sinica,2009,33(5):811-817