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Systematic review of pregnancy and neonatal health outcomes associated with exposure to e-waste disposal


Electronic waste (e-waste), the world’s fastest-growing category of hazardous solid waste, poses a serious health risk for recyclers, scavenger workers, and residents of communities near waste disposal sites in many countries with developing economies and those in transition. The toxic components of e-waste have been linked to various adverse health outcomes. The objective of this study was to assess the effects of e-waste exposures on pregnancy outcomes and neonate’s health. We systematically searched original full-length articles in three electronic databases namely Web of Science, ProQuest health and medical databases, and Google Scholar for publications related to e-waste and pregnancy outcomes and neonate’s health. Outcomes from most study showed possible association between exposure to e-waste and pregnancy and adverse neonatal health outcomes including sex-specific differences in infants’ growth, placental transfer of toxicants, thyroid hormones disruption, DNA methylation and oxidative damage, ALAD genotypes, carcinogenic risks, and sex hormones disruption in pregnant women and developing fetus. The results support evidence that e-waste exposure is associated with negative effects on pregnancy and neonatal health outcomes. However, improvements in the design of epidemiological investigations, and more investigations from South Asia, Africa, and Latin America are needed to confirm these associations.

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