HBM4EU occupational e-waste study: Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

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Last Updated: 08-03-2021 15:06

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In the HBM4EU e-waste occupational exposure study (Santonen et al., 2020) exposed workers and controls from companies participating in the chain of e-waste processing will be recruited from nine countries, namely: Belgium, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, The Netherlands and United Kingdom (UK). In order to achieve comparable data in a harmonised way, the enclosed Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) have been prepared. Every participating country is obliged to, as far as is reasonable possible, follow these procedures. The SOPs for the selection of participants and recruitment, information to the participants, informed consent (annex 1), completion of questionnaires (annex 2) and instructions for blood, urine, settled dust, air, hair, dermal and buccal cells sampling (annexes 3-9), procedure for comparing occupational hygiene measurements with exposure estimates generated using REACH models (annex 10), and communication plan (annex 11), are annexed.
The overarching goal is to increase the share of processing e-waste that EU member states are producing, using EU’s own processing capability, instead of exporting e-waste. In a partnership with the recycling sector in Europe (EEA, 2019), HBM4EU can help to ensure the sustainable processing of e-waste. For this study our focus will be on the occupational health and safety aspects. By conducting a HBM study we hope to contribute to awareness of potential hazards and stimulate good work practices that will lead to further improve protection of the worker’s health from the risk of exposure to toxic components, including that of combined exposures.