Perceived public health effects of occupational and residential exposure to electronic wastes in Lagos, Nigeria
High levels of environmental contamination can occur from e-waste processing, putting workers and residents in surrounding areas at risk as they are likely to be exposed to complex mixtures of unknown toxicity. This study was aimed at assessing the perceived public health effects of occupational and residential exposures to e-wastes in Alaba International and Computer Village markets, the two largest electronic markets in Lagos, Nigeria. A cross sectional, comparative study was carried out using questionnaire survey of randomly selected 150 workers and residents each, from the two markets. The data were compared with control (people working and living in areas with no e-wastes disposal or burning). Health data were correlated with demographic and exposure data. Majority of workers in both markets had only secondary education. Open burning was the main disposal method, with majority of workers not using any protective gear. Residents have multiple informal dumpsites within 100 m of their homes. All workers and residents reported that their drinking water had colour, odour and/or taste. Aches, migraine, nausea, spontaneous abortion and cancer were the major health problems reported by workers and residents of the two markets, and these were significantly (p<0.05) different from the control groups. Positive correlations were observed between health, demographic and exposure data. Working in, and living near electronic markets and e-waste dumpsites have resulted in significant increase in perceived detrimental health effects.
Keywords: e-wastes, public health effects, electronic markets, Nigeria.