Toxicity, Eco-toxicity, and Phytoremediation of E-waste

  • Bushra Rehman
  • Mazhar IqbalEmail author
  • Ismat Nawaz
Part of the Soil Biology book series (SOILBIOL, volume 57)


E-waste represents any discarded complete electronic product or in components form. Due to the rapid technological advancement, electronics are available easily in the markets as well as online services thus originated the issue of e-waste worldwide. Discarded electronics consisting of mainly cellphones, computers, refrigerators, monitors, and televisions weigh approximately equal to 200 Empire State buildings. Rate of production is very high for Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) throughout the world due to increase in use of these equipments; advancement in the fields of electronics, IT, and telecom industries; and improved living standards of consumers. The economic growth and increase in technological innovations day by day lead to the faster deposition of such products as outdated ones; thus EEE can be designated as having short life span nowadays.


Toxicity Eco-toxicity Phytoremediation E-waste 


  1. Ali H, Khan E, Sajad MA (2013) Phytoremediation of heavy metals concepts and applications. Chemosphere 91:869–881CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Chen Z, Zhang J, Liu M, Wu Y, Yuan Z (2017) Immobilization of metals in contaminated soil from E-waste recycling site by dairy-manure-derived biochar. Environ Technol 9:2801–2809Google Scholar
  3. Clemens S (2001) Developing tools for phytoremediation towards a molecular understanding of plant metal tolerance and accumulation. Int J Occup Med Environ Health 14:235–239PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Dagan R, Dubey B, Bitton G, Townsend T (2007) Aquatic toxicity of leachates generated from electronic devices. Arch Environ Contam Toxicol 53:168–173CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Devi B, Shobha S, Kamble R (2004) E-waste: the hidden harm of technological revolution. J Indian Assoc Environ Manag 31:196–205Google Scholar
  6. Greipsson S (2011) Phytoremediation. Nat Edu Knowl 3:7Google Scholar
  7. Iqbal M, Syed JH, Breivik K, Chaudhry MJI, Li J, Zhang G, Malik RN (2017) E-waste driven pollution in Pakistan: the first evidence of environmental and human exposure to flame retardants (FRs) in Karachi City. Environ Sci Technol 51:13895–13905CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Järup L (2003) Hazards of heavy metal contamination. Br Med Bull 68:167–182CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Jiang L, Cheng Z, Zhang D, Song M, Wang Y, Luo C, Zhang G (2017) The influence of e-waste recycling on the molecular ecological network of soil microbial communities in Pakistan and China. Environ Pollut 231:173–181CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Kaya M (2007) Electronic waste disposal, reuse and recycle technologies. In: Proceedings of European metallurgical conference, Düsseldorf, Germany, pp 1613–1631Google Scholar
  11. Leung AO, Duzgoren-Aydin NS, Cheung K, Wong MH (2008) Heavy metals concentrations of surface dust from e-waste recycling and its human health implications in Southeast China. Environ Sci Technol 42:2674–2680CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Linh DTT, Yousef A, Lee S-HL, Phan NKP (2018) Development of a reverse supply chain odel for electronic waste incorporating transportation risk. IPTEK J Proc Series:3. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Luo J, Cai L, Qi S, Wu J, Gu XS (2017) A multi-technique phytoremediation approach to purify metals contaminated soil from e-waste recycling site. J Environ Manag 204:17–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Nakari T, Huhtala S (2008) Comparison of toxicity of congener-153 of PCB, PBB, and PBDE to Daphnia magna. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 71:514–518CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Nnorom IC, Osibanjo O (2008) Overview of electronic waste (e-waste) management practices and legislations and their poor applications in the developing countries. Resour Conserv Recycl 52:843–858CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Nyholm RJ (2009) Persistency, bioaccumulation and toxicity assessment of selected brominated flame retardants. Umeå University, Umea, Sweden, p 22Google Scholar
  17. Robinson BH (2009) E-waste: an assessment of global production and environmental impacts. Sci Total Environ 408:183–191CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Saeed A (2013) Dangerous labour: the little known e-waste phenomenon. Dawn 2013.
  19. Sarma H (2011) Metal hyperaccumulation in plants: a review focusing on phytoremediation technology. J Environ Sci Technol 4:118–138CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Schwitzguebel J (2000) Potential of phytoremediation, an emerging green technology. In: Ecosystem service and sustainable watershed management in North China international conference, Beijing, vol 3, pp 210–220Google Scholar
  21. Sedykh A, Klopman G (2007) Data analysis and alternative modelling of MITI-I aerobic biodegradation. SAR QSAR Environ Res 18:693–709CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. SEPA (2011) Recycling and disposal of electronic waste: health hazards and environmental impacts Stockholm. ISBN 978–91–620-6417-4Google Scholar
  23. Vasavi A, Usha R, Swamy P (2010) Phytoremediation-an overview review. J Indust Pollut Cont 26:83–88Google Scholar
  24. Wen S, Yang F, Gong Y, Zhang X, Hui Y, Li J (2008) Elevated levels of urinary 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine in male electrical and electronic equipment dismantling workers exposed to high concentrations of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans, polybrominated diphenyl ethers and polychlorinated biphenyls. Environ Sci Technol 42:4202–4207CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Williams JB (2002) Phytoremediation in wetland ecosystems: progress, problems, and potential. Crit Rev Plant Sci 21:607–635CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Zhou X, Guo J, Lin K, Huang K, Deng J (2013) Leaching characteristics of heavy metals and brominated flame retardants from waste printed circuit boards. J Hazard Mater 246:96–102CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Biological SciencesQuaid-i-Azam UniversityIslamabadPakistan
  2. 2.Department of BiotechnologyCOMSATS University IslamabadAbbottabadPakistan

Personalised recommendations