Date of Award

January 2023

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


School of Public Health

First Advisor

Yong Y. Zhu


E-waste informal recycling poses severe threats to the environment and public health. This review provides an update to the 2013 and 2021 reviews, which systematically assessed adverse human health impacts associated with e-waste exposure. For this review, e-waste population health studies published between Jan 29, 2020 and Feb 23, 2023 were included. Databases including PubMed, Web of Knowledge, PsycNET, CNKI, Wanfang Data were searched, and the languages were not limited to English. Of the 4097 identified records, 58 studies examined the association between e-waste exposure and health, and are original studies based on population health outcomes. Current studies consistently support the finding that e-waste workers and people living in the e-waste informal recycling areas have higher levels of toxic chemicals in their bodies. Many studies also reported that children and newborns were more vulnerable to the e-waste pollution, which can negatively impact their neural system, endocrine system, and organ functions. Additionally, studies found DNA damage, abnormal epigenetic changes, and elevated oxidative stress among exposed populations. The social economic environment such as low income, less education and low health literacy that e-waste workers experience poses additional health risks due to chemical exposure. In order to protect public health, there is an urgent need for e-waste policy, law, regulation and green chemistry innovations in developing countries.


This is an Open Access Thesis.

Open Access

This Article is Open Access