Chapter 4 - Populations at Special Risk

Elsevier, Electronic Waste, Toxicology and Public Health Issues, 2017, Pages 55-61
Bruce A .Fowler

To perform an accurate risk assessment for e-waste materials, it is important to consider the populations who may be exposed to these agents since it is clear that persons within the general population vary greatly in their sensitivity to chemical agents on an individual or mixture basis. This chapter will attempt brief review on some of the known factors which define populations at special risk for chemical toxicity. This information is essential for conducting rigorous risk assessments to protect those segments of the general population which may be at greatest risk for adverse outcomes. In general, there are a number of such well-known groups at special risk including the fetus, children, women of childbearing age, the elderly, and also defined by nutritional status, subsistence farming, hunters and fishers, contamination of local food supplies, gender, and genetic inheritance. This chapter will focus on these groups through the lens of exposure to e-waste chemical exposures. This is particularly important for such populations in developing countries where these factors may be exacerbated by limited resources and health-care infrastructure.