General waste landfill and electronic waste burn site in Kalasin, Thailand. The site is immediately adjacent to a large rice paddy.
Electronic waste worker dismantling and extracting copper from oscillating fan motors behind his home; worker is wearing fabric gloves, long sleeves, pants, and a ski mask as protective equipment.
Worker dismantling and extracting copper from oscillating fan motors behind his home using a mallet and blade. Copper is being stored in metal bin at the top of the picture.
Common tools used in manual disassembly of electronic waste items – tools are often not used for their intended purpose (e.g., screwdrivers may be used as chisels).
Copper bundles extracted from oscillating fan motors. Note that if extracted copper is covered in plastic or rubber coating, it will be manually stripped or burned to remove the unneeded material.
Along with professors and students from Kasetsart University (not pictured), students from UM and Mae Fah Luang University performed a 3-week data collection trip and comprehensive assessment of a community of domestic electronic waste recycling workers in Eastern Thailand .
Community health volunteers “wai” with members of the research team; community health volunteers were instrumental in establishing trust within the electronic waste recycling village. Photo credit: Amber Bellazaire
An air sampling pump with a filter for analyzing metals is attached to a tripod adjacent to a worker dismantling electronic waste using a power tool. The work site is located between two homes.
Team members from Mae Fah Luang University divide blood samples into separate test tubes for cadmium, lead, and other blood and serum metals analysis at the Thai Ministry of Health.
UM and Mae Fah Luang students coach a research participant during lung function testing. Exposure to airborne metals and particulates during electronic waste recycling procedures may reduce a worker’s lung function.
Researchers attach a heart rate monitoring watch, noise dosimeter, and personal sampling pump with air filter to an e-waste worker. Measurements will be used to calculate approximate exposure to airborne metals and predictors of stress.
A UM graduate student performs a wipe sample for metal dust on a food preparation surface located adjacent to electronic waste recycling work areas.
A UM research team member performs blood pressure monitoring and takes the height and weight measurements of an electronic waste worker outside of his home.