The Global Impacts of E-waste Exposure and E-waste Recycling Policy on Maternal and Fetal Health (2019-2020)
This Bass Connections project team researched the global health effects of e-waste recycling in Taizhou, China, through lab-based and community-based science. Team members worked in small groups to research and report their findings:
- The policy team wrote a policy brief highlighting the discrepancy between the national regulation of e-waste and the reality of current practices. The brief argues that while national policies set a respectable precedent, economic gains of e-waste recycling will continue to outweigh adverse human health until local actors are mobilized to carry out regulation and enforcement.
- The community research team analyzed Taizhou community surveys and exposure data. Overall, they found that community members were at high risk of exposure to e-waste remnants in the environment and there was a lack of effective communication between these affected communities and government.
- The lab team completed initial testing of experiments to investigate the cellular effects of e-waste chemical exposure on placental development. They determined dosing parameters of chemicals of interest, and plan to measure the resulting changes in global DNA methylation levels and mitochondrial copy number next year.
In addition, a few team members presented their work to middle and high school students as part of Duke Splash. They discussed the definition of electronic waste, different stakeholders in the electronics industry and best practices for being an informed consumer of electronic goods.
Fall 2019 – Spring 2020
E-waste Impact on Birth Outcomes (Fortin Foundation Bass Connections Virtual Showcase 2020)
Impacts of E-waste Exposure on Maternal and Fetal Health (poster by Ashley Choi, Nadrat Chowdhury, Christine Crute, Ellea Lamb, Julia Murphy, Angela Pham, Aneesha Raj, Yan Sun, Connie Xiong, Amy Zhao, Liping Feng)
This Team in the News
See related team, Impacts of Maternal Exposure to E-waste on Birth Outcomes (2020-2021).
Image: Guiyu e-waste, by Bert van Dijk
- Christine Crute, Nicholas School of the Environment–Integrated Toxicology–Ph.D. Student
- Liping Feng, School of Medicine-Obstetrics and Gynecology
/graduate Team Members
Nadratun Chowdhury, Civil & Environmental Engg-MS, Civil & Environmental Engg-PHD
Wanchen Xiong, Master of Environmental Management, Ecotoxicology & Environmental Health
/undergraduate Team Members
Ashley Choi, Neuroscience (BS)
Elizabeth Lamb, Political Science (AB)
Julia Murphy, Public Policy Studies (AB)
Kieu Pham, Biology (BS)
Aneesha Raj, Biology (BS)
Amy Zhao, Biology (BS)
/yfaculty/staff Team Members
John Ji, Duke Kunshan University
Susan Murphy, School of Medicine-Obstetrics and Gynecology
Junfeng (Jim) Zhang, Nicholas School of the Environment-Environmental Sciences and Policy
/zcommunity Team Members
Conghuai Yan, Shanghai Jiaotong University