Public health and public policy approaches to electronic waste recycling

Project ID: 1494

Cube proposed by: Richard Neitzel

Unit: Public Health

Cycle: MCubed 2.0

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About this project: 
E-waste (electronic waste, or discarded household or business products that contain circuitry or electrical components) is a global and growing threat to human and ecosystem health. Low-income countries bear a disproportionate burden of the impacts of e-waste, as higher-income countries often export waste to be recycled or disposed of in these less expensive settings. This creates much-needed employment opportunities in low-income countries, but the informal recycling and disposal approaches currently used in these resource-constrained settings recover only a fraction of potentially recyclable materials while exposing workers and communities to hazardous agents. This research-to-practice project will explore human health impacts from electronic waste recycling in a community in South America, and evaluate public policy options and public helath interventions that could be implemented to improve health while preserving economic opportunities.