Characterization and risk assessment of polychlorinated biphenyls in soils and vegetations near an electronic waste recycling site, South China

Yan Wang, Chun Ling Luo, Jun Li, Hua Yin, Xiangdong Li, G. Zhang Gan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)


This study aimed at identifying the levels of PCBs generated from e-waste recycling, and their potential impacts on the soils and vegetations as well. The ΣPCBs concentrations in soil and plant samples ranged from 7.4 to 4000ngg-1and from 6.7 to 1500ngg-1, respectively. For the plant samples, Chrysanthemum coronarium L. from vegetable field and the wild plant Bidens pilosa L. from the burning site showed relatively higher PCB concentrations than other species. For the soil samples, the e-waste burning site had relatively higher PCB concentrations than the adjacent areas, and vegetable soils had higher PCB concentrations than paddy soils. The PCB concentrations showed a clear decreasing trend with the increasing distance from the e-waste recycling site. PCB 28, 99, 101, 138, 153, and 180 were the predominant congeners. Principal component analysis results showed a potential fractionation of PCB compositions from the burning site to the surroundings. The PCB congener pattern at the burning site was similar to Arochlor 1260, pointing to an input of non-domestic e-waste. Similar PCB congeners were found in soils and related vegetables, indicating they derived from the same source. The consumption of vegetables grown in soils near e-waste recycling sites should be strictly avoided due to the high PCBs in the plant tissues.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)344-350
Number of pages7
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2011


  • E-Waste
  • PCB
  • Soil
  • Vegetable

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemistry(all)

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