Impact of technological innovation and regulation development on e-waste toxicity: a case study of waste mobile phones.
ABSTRACT: Technology innovation has accelerated progress in Information and Communications Technology (ICT), especially in the mobile phones sector. Concurrently, local, national, and international governments are enforcing stricter regulations to protect natural resources and human health. The paper attempts to address the question: Have technological innovations and regulation development had a positive impact on ecosystems and public health? We identified 36 waste mobile phones (WMPs) manufactured between 2002 and 2013, assessed their metals concentration, leachability, and potential impact on environment and human health using digestion, Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP), and USEtox model, respectively. The results highlight that regulations did not have significant impact on total metal content, except some heavy metals, while technology innovation recorded stronger impact. WMPs should be classified as hazardous due to excessive lead content. Copper posed the most significant ecotoxicity risk, and chromium showed the most significant risk for both cancerous and non-cancerous diseases. Additionally, we demonstrated that WMPs toxicity increased with technology innovation.
Project description:Many developing countries including China are implementing increasingly stringent environmental regulations to achieve sustainable development. However, we have limited understanding about whether environmental regulations promote enterprise green innovation. To address this research gap, this study empirically analyzes the impact of environmental regulations, which is represented by the China Environmental Protection Law (2015), on enterprise green innovation, and it explores the moderating effects of official tenure on environmental regulations and corporate green innovation. The Super-Slacks-based Measure (Super-SBM) model and multiple nonlinear regression model are employed to analyze sample data of 3557 firms in China's A-share market during the 2014-2017 period. Our results show that, in general, a higher intensity of environmental regulations is more beneficial to incentivize enterprises to implement green innovation. Meanwhile, there is an inverted U-type relationship between the tenure length of officials and green innovation of enterprises. Furthermore, the tenure length of officials plays an inverted U-shaped role in regulating the impact of environmental regulations on enterprise green innovation. Overall, this study can help us better understand the politics behind enterprises green innovation in countries like China.
Project description:Traditional public health methods for detecting infectious disease transmission, such as contact tracing and molecular epidemiology, are time-consuming and costly. Information and communication technologies, such as global positioning systems, smartphones, and mobile phones, offer opportunities for novel approaches to identifying transmission hotspots. However, mapping the movements of potentially infected persons comes with ethical challenges. During an interdisciplinary meeting of researchers, ethicists, data security specialists, information and communication technology experts, epidemiologists, microbiologists, and others, we arrived at suggestions to mitigate the ethical concerns of movement mapping. These suggestions include a template Data Protection Impact Assessment that follows European Union General Data Protection Regulations.
Project description:Graphical abstract This paper studies the development of bank OBS innovation and bank risk taking from the perspective of new asset management regulations. The analysis finds (1) the rapid development of OBS innovation will increase bank risk taking and (2) the solution to the problem of rigid payment is conducive to reducing the risk taken by Chinese commercial banks when providing OBS innovation. The release of new asset management rules has played a positive role in regulating the asset management business of financial institutions, preventing and controlling financial risk. It has also had an important impact on the management of banks’ off-balance-sheet (OBS) innovation. This paper uses unbalanced panel data on 75 commercial banks in China from 2007 to 2017 and combines a theoretical and an empirical model to study the development of bank OBS innovation and bank risk taking from the perspective of new asset management regulations. The analysis finds (1) the rapid development of OBS innovation will increase bank risk taking and (2) the solution to the problem of rigid payment is conducive to reducing the risk taken by Chinese commercial banks when providing OBS innovation.
Project description:Extensive research effort shows that weight management programmes (WMPs) targeting both diet and exercise are broadly effective. However, the critical features of WMPs remain unclear.To develop a deeper understanding of WMPs critical features, we undertook a systematic review of qualitative evidence. We sought to understand from a service-user perspective how programmes are experienced, and may be effective, on the ground.We identified qualitative studies from existing reviews and updated the searches of one review.We included UK studies capturing the views of adult WMP users.Thematic analysis was used inductively to code and synthesize the evidence.Service users were emphatic that supportive relationships, with service providers or WMP peers, are the most critical aspect of WMPs. Supportive relationships were described as providing an extrinsic motivator or "hook" which helped to overcome barriers such as scepticism about dietary advice or a lack confidence to engage in physical activity.The evidence revealed that service-users' understandings of the critical features of WMPs differ from the focus of health promotion guidance or descriptions of evaluated programmes which largely emphasize educational or goal setting aspects of WMPs. Existing programme guidance may not therefore fully address the needs of service users. The study illustrates that the perspectives of service users can reveal unanticipated intervention mechanisms or underemphasized critical features and underscores the value of a holistic understanding about "what happens" in complex psychosocial interventions such as WMPs.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:There is a huge technology gap between regions in Chinese pharmaceutical manufacturing industry, which is the reality that must be faced. However, most of the available researches on innovation efficiency are based on the logic of a given technology level, ignoring the regional technological gap. This paper will stand from the perspective of technology gap and re-examine the innovation efficiency of pharmaceutical manufacturing industry in different regions of China and its impact on regional industrial competitiveness. METHODS:We use the DEA-BCC input-oriented model to measure innovation efficiency of 28 provinces from the data of China's pharmaceutical manufacturing industry. The threshold model is constructed, with technology level as the threshold variable, innovation efficiency as the main explanatory variable, and industrial competitiveness as the dependent variable. In the threshold model, 28 regions are divided into three technical groups, and further, the impact of innovation efficiency on industrial competitiveness in different groups is analyzed and compared. RESULTS:According to the empirical research results, an U-shaped efficiency trap has been found in Chinese pharmaceutical manufacturing industry, and the areas with medium technical level are at the bottom of the trap. The improvement of innovation efficiency does not necessarily promote the improvement of regional industrial competitiveness. Only in high-level and low-level technology groups, innovation efficiency has effectively promoted the improvement of industrial competitiveness. In addition, the intensity of R&D investment has a similar impact on industrial competitiveness. CONCLUSIONS:The findings suggest that, regions in the efficiency trap should strive to seek opportunities for industrial transformation and focus on the industrial transformation of new technology, new industry and new opportunities, instead of blindly pursuing R&D investment intensity and superstitious innovation efficiency. So as to free up innovation resources for high-quality technological innovation in other regions. In addition, the Chinese government should make use of its public hospital system to normalize and expand the centralized drug procurement and eliminate the low-quality innovation.
Project description:The study assesses the contamination, classification and phytotoxicity of foundry waste. The presented results are a part of the research on the agrotechnical use of foundry waste. Landfilled foundry waste (LFW) and dust samples were taken from one of the Polish foundries. An analysis of the waste and its leachate composition was conducted. Phytotoxicity tests were carried out using Lepidium sativum. The aim of the phytotoxicity study was to evaluate germination and root growth after 72?h and the accumulation of heavy metals after 7 days. LFW was least contaminated with heavy metals and metalloids compared to dust. The composition of the foundry dusts depended on the unit of the foundry, from which it was collected. It was found that electric arc furnace dust (EAFD) was the most polluted by heavy metals among the dust samples. According to the requirements of Polish regulations most of tested waste were classified as non-hazardous, and EAFD as hazardous waste due to high Pb concentration in leachate. Phytotoxicity tests have shown a low phytotoxicity of the leachate from most of the tested waste. The results of the accumulation test showed that an excess of metal and metalloids in leachate was not directly related to its accumulation in plants. A negative correlation between EC, Cu, Co, Fe, Pb, Cr, K, Na, sulfate, fluoride, ammonia, phenol and formaldehyde concentration in leachate and GI was found. It was stated that the Fe, Mn, As and Se in plants was significantly correlated with concentrations in leachate.
Project description:Background:Electronic waste (e-waste) contains both valuable and hazardous materials. E-waste scavengers specialize in the collection and crude recycling of waste electronics to retrieve valuable metals, which are then sold. These activities provide an income for scavengers, but also expose them to toxic heavy metals such as lead (Pb) and copper (Cu). Objectives:The aim of the present study was to investigate the level of awareness and concentrations of heavy metals (Pb, Cu, zinc (Zn) and manganese (Mn)) in the blood levels of e-waste scavengers at Jakande dumpsite, Alaba International Market, Lagos, Nigeria. Methods:Material and data were collected by empirical survey with the use of a questionnaire to obtain information from e-waste scavengers. Blood samples of the scavengers in the present study (30 adult males exposed to recycling processes) were collected and concentrations of heavy metals were determined through acid digestion and the use of an atomic absorption spectrophotometer (AGILENT 55B AA, 2010). Results:The geometric means of blood levels of Pb, Cu, Zn and Mn were 11.0, 33.85, 126.15 and 19.38 μg / dL, respectively. High concentrations of Pb and Mn (11.0 and 19.38 μg / dL) were found in the blood samples, while Zn and Cu (126.15 and 33.85 μg / dL) showed low concentrations. The maximum blood level of lead (BPb) (24.0 μg / dL) was extremely high compared to the maximum BPb of occupationally exposed males. Statistical analysis of the questionnaires showed that all of the respondents were male, and more than half (56.7%) were between 21-30 years of age and had been involved in recycling of e-waste for 1-5 years. The results showed that 83% of the respondents were aware that hazardous fractions in e-waste require special treatment, while 76.7% were aware of the possible negative impact on their health. Conclusions:Lack of education, poverty and lack of effective enforcement of e-waste management and regulations are the major contributors to the current situation and thus scavengers carry on with their activities unhindered. The authors recommend the use of protective clothing, sensitization visits and awareness campaigns on the safe disposal of hazardous components. Participant consent:Obtained. Ethics Approval:The study was approved by the ethics committee of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja Lagos. Competing Interests:The authors declare no competing financial interests.
Project description:Medical innovation has a profound impact on public health, and it is always of social concern to encourage innovation and enhance the value in health care delivery. Based on a sample of China's listed firms in the medical industry from 2007 to 2018, this paper highlights the independent and mixed roles of informatization and high-speed rail in public medical innovation. The results show that informatization at network space and high-speed rail at physical space effectively promote the innovation of medical enterprises. In addition, "online" information technology and "offline" high-speed rail technology have a synergistic effect on medical innovation, especially in areas with a low level of innovation. The conclusion supports the positive significance of technology in the application of public health and proposes that the construction of smart society is very important to public health.
Project description:RATIONALE FOR REVIEW:The increasing mobility of populations allows pathogens to move rapidly and far, making endemic or epidemic regions more connected to the rest of the world than at any time in history. However, the ability to measure and monitor human mobility, health risk and their changing patterns across spatial and temporal scales using traditional data sources has been limited. To facilitate a better understanding of the use of emerging mobile phone technology and data in travel medicine, we reviewed relevant work aiming at measuring human mobility, disease connectivity and health risk in travellers using mobile geopositioning data. KEY FINDINGS:Despite some inherent biases of mobile phone data, analysing anonymized positions from mobile users could precisely quantify the dynamical processes associated with contemporary human movements and connectivity of infectious diseases at multiple temporal and spatial scales. Moreover, recent progress in mobile health (mHealth) technology and applications, integrating with mobile positioning data, shows great potential for innovation in travel medicine to monitor and assess real-time health risk for individuals during travel. CONCLUSIONS:Mobile phones and mHealth have become a novel and tremendously powerful source of information on measuring human movements and origin-destination-specific risks of infectious and non-infectious health issues. The high penetration rate of mobile phones across the globe provides an unprecedented opportunity to quantify human mobility and accurately estimate the health risks in travellers. Continued efforts are needed to establish the most promising uses of these data and technologies for travel health.
Project description:Data were collected at a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) in Burlington, Vermont, USA, (serving 30,000 people) to assess the relative contribution of CSO (combined sewer overflow) bypass flows and treated wastewater effluent to the load of steroid hormones and other wastewater micropollutants (WMPs) from a WWTP to a lake. Flow-weighted composite samples were collected over a 13 month period at this WWTP from CSO bypass flows or plant influent flows (n = 28) and treated effluent discharges (n = 22). Although CSO discharges represent 10% of the total annual water discharge (CSO plus treated plant effluent discharges) from the WWTP, CSO discharges contribute 40-90% of the annual load for hormones and WMPs with high (>90%) wastewater treatment removal efficiency. By contrast, compounds with low removal efficiencies (<90%) have less than 10% of annual load contributed by CSO discharges. Concentrations of estrogens, androgens, and WMPs generally are 10 times higher in CSO discharges compared to treated wastewater discharges. Compound concentrations in samples of CSO discharges generally decrease with increasing flow because of wastewater dilution by rainfall runoff. By contrast, concentrations of hormones and many WMPs in samples from treated discharges can increase with increasing flow due to decreasing removal efficiency.