NIOSH Program Evaluating Controls Used by E-Waste Recyclers

The first phase of the Health Hazard Evaluation Program’s examination of health and safety in the electronic waste recycling industry is expected to end in April. It will include a survey of as many as 100 e-waste recycling facilities across the country.

The NIOSH Health Hazard Evaluation Program is in the midst of an evaluation of workers' health and safety in the electronic waste recycling industry. The first phase of the project is a pilot study to survey a random sample of as many as 100 e-waste recycling facilities nationwide to learn more about e-waste processes, medical monitoring, engineering and other controls, and PPE use, according to a recent online update from NIOSH Director Dr. John Howard.

Answering questions about the project by email, Diana Ceballos, Ph.D., MS, an industrial hygienist in the agency's Hazard Evaluations and Technical Assistance Branch in Cincinnati, Ohio, wrote that the survey is currently set to end in April 2013. The timing of the project's second phase, on-site health hazard evaluations at three recycling facilities, depends on coordination with specific facilities that chose to participate, she explained.

"Yes, we have heard from several recyclers about participating in our evaluation. We are currently finishing up one health hazard evaluation at an e-waste facility," Ceballos wrote. "We have one ongoing health hazard evaluation and one tentative facility in progress. We are interested in getting at least one more request. If a facility is interested in participating they should contact me or NIOSH at (HHERequestHelp@cdc.gov)."

Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) of Oak Ridge, Tenn., is the contractor that will conduct the survey during phase one, she said.

For more information about the Health Hazard Evaluation Program, visit http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/hhe/.

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