As part of an investigation on the impacts of e-waste in Ghana, researchers found that the dangerous levels of toxins at e-waste dump sites also inflitrate local food chains.
The study, led by Ipen and the Basel Action Network, followed illegally disposed e-waste from Europe to dump-sites in Ghana. At these sites e-waste is broken down to extract and recover valuable metals. However, this process also contaminates the local environment with dangerous levels of dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) – among other harmful substances. Analysis of food chains in communities surrounding dump-sites also shows dangerously high concentrations of these chemicals in food produce (in particular eggs), much of which is produced by local subsistence farmers in these communities.
Thus, putting further emphasis on the need for thorough and effective regulation on e-waste exports from Europe to Ghana and other countries, particualrly e-waste that contains hazardous chemicals.
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