Indian Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine   Official publication of Indian Association of  0ccupational  Health  
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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 143-148

Exploring the Awareness Regarding E-waste and its Health Hazards among the Informal Handlers in Musheerabad Area of Hyderabad

1 AMCHSS, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Trivandrum, Kerala, India
2 School of Medical Sciences, University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad, Telangana, India

Correspondence Address:
Srinivasan Kannan
AMCHSS, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Trivandrum - 695 011
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijoem.IJOEM_116_17

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Introduction: Occupational Health hazards of handling and management of electronic waste is a nascent subject. Improper and unscientific handling of e-waste can invite significant human and environmental health risks. Objective: To study the level of awareness about electronic waste and its health hazards amongst informal handlers in Musheerabad, Hyderabad. Methodology: Ethical approval and informed consents were obtained from Institutional Ethical Committee, University of Hyderabad and from the participants respectively before the commencement of study. This was a descriptive cross-sectional study conducted in randomly selected twenty-six waste handling centers from sixty of them in the locality. From each of the centers four handlers agedbetween 18 and 45 were randomly selected. Total of 104 handlers were interviewed using semi-structured schedule. Interviews were also conducted among 10 owners of such centres on the waste management practices. Results: About 72% of the handlers did not know the meaning of electronic waste and 71% were not aware of associated health risks, 85% did not use any protective gears, while 16% acknowledged health issues attributed to improper handling of e-waste, 77% felt their handling of e-waste was appropriate. Majority of center owners felt that informal e-waste handling does not pose any health risks, and reported that there was no awareness campaign by any agency as of then. Conclusion: This study highlights the need for awareness campaigns on proper e-waste management practices to ensure occupational safety among the waste handlers who belong to lower socio-economic strata.


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