Circular economies are touted as 'environmentally friendly.' However, pitfalls exist regarding the chemical content of many recyclable consumer products. Electronic waste can contain polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and heavy metals such as chromium, cadmium, and mercury, while ordinary paper may contain bisphenols and phthalates. Many recycled products produced in the United States and Europe are shipped overseas to India, China, and other developing countries where crude recycling processes are not regulated and are often 'backyard' industries. Thus, the potential exists for environmental releases and human exposures due to inhalation of and dermal contact with chemical fumes or airborne particles. This presentation will describe the human health and ecological impacts that a circular economy creates in order to stimulate conversation and action for improved manufacturer responsibility and product stewardship.
0.5 Contact Hours
Laurie Ruth Gneiding