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Musculoskeletal Disorder Symptoms among Workers at an Informal Electronic-Waste Recycling Site in Agbogbloshie, Ghana.


ABSTRACT: Informal recycling of electrical and electronic waste (e-waste) has myriad environmental and occupational health consequences, though information about the chronic musculoskeletal health effects on workers is limited. The aim of this study was to examine the prevalence and intensity of self-reported musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) symptoms among e-waste workers at Agbogbloshie in Ghana-the largest informal e-waste dumpsite in West Africa-relative to workers not engaged in e-waste recycling. A standardized musculoskeletal discomfort questionnaire was administered to 176 e-waste workers (73 collectors, 82 dismantlers, and 21 burners) and 41 workers in a reference group. The number of body parts with musculoskeletal discomfort were 1.62 and 1.39 times higher for collectors and dismantlers than burners, respectively. A 1-week discomfort prevalence was highest for collectors (91.8%) followed by dismantlers (89%), burners (81%), and the reference group (70.7%). The discomfort prevalence for e-waste workers was highest in the lower back (65.9%), shoulders (37.5%), and knees (37.5%). Whole-body pain scores (mean ± SE) were higher for collectors (83.7 ± 10.6) than dismantlers (45.5 ± 7.6), burners (34.0 ± 9.1), and the reference group (26.4 ± 5.9). Differences in prevalence, location, and intensity of MSD symptoms by the e-waste job category suggest specific work-related morbidity. Symptom prevalence and intensity call attention to the high risk for MSDs and work disability among informal e-waste workers, particularly collectors and dismantlers.

SUBMITTER: Acquah AA 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC7923259 | BioStudies | 2021-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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