Although, none of the companies in this study handled bulbs or fl

Although, none of the companies in this study handled bulbs or fluorescent tubes contain Hg, recycling workers had about 20 times higher air Hg concentrations than the office workers. Furthermore, Hg in both plasma and urine samples, which

are suitable biomarkers of inorganic Hg, increased with increasing concentrations in the inhalable fraction. This result illustrates that Hg is indeed present in recycling plants where the most likely source is back-lights in different types of screens (Frazzoli et al., 2010). Blood Hg concentrations were similar in office and recycling workers, most likely due to the influence of dietary methyl mercury. We did ask workers to refrain from eating any SB203580 datasheet kind of seafood prior to sampling, but because poultry and swine processing uses fish meal, for example, it is difficult to completely avoid the intake of methyl mercury (Lindberg et al., 2004). Seafood was probably also the origin of the elevated urinary arsenic concentrations, which were similar in recycling workers and office workers. However, the air concentrations of As were 23 Sorafenib times higher in the recycling areas compared to the offices. Mercury and gallium arsenides are common in many types of electronics, such as flat screens and LEDs,

which is present in more types of electronics sold today, which will likely increase exposure to these metals in the future. The observed Glycogen branching enzyme elevated Pb concentrations in both air samples and exposure biomarkers, and the correlation between the two, showed that e-waste recycling workers constitute a new group of workers that may be exposed to Pb. Lead is predominantly found in the glass of CRTs and in different solders used in electronics (Frazzoli et al., 2010); it may be released if grinding of the products is performed. The amount of Pb in one CTR screen can be up to 3 kg, depending on the size of the television set (M. Chen et al., 2011). During the measurements in this study the CRTs were crushed or grinded at the participating e-waste plants. This procedure has now been replaced by an automated process at

another company (not participating in the study) that specializes on recycling of CRTs. The highest individual concentrations of Pb in blood originated from workers performing work tasks connected to grinding e-waste materials. Furthermore, the grinded material is often transported on conveyor belts and put into open containers or piles outdoors awaiting further transportation. This procedure might lead to dispersion of dust to the environment. In fact, there was no difference of the Pb concentration in air samples between the outdoor workers compared to the dismantling workers. The elevated Pb exposure among recycling workers is worrying, mainly for the women working in these settings. Prenatal exposure to Pb has shown to affect several parameters in the developing child (Bellinger, 2013, Bellinger et al.

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