Mobile-shred workers uniquely vulnerable to toxic metals

Researchers have discovered that shredding e-scrap materials in trucks may expose employees to as much toxic metal dust as in-plant shredding, but mobile workers may not be as protected as their plant-based counterparts.

The first-of-its-kind study was conducted by Diana Ceballos from the Boston University School of Public Health and Michael Zhou and Robert Herrick, both from Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Their paper was published in August in the Annals of Work Exposures and Health.

The researchers found that mobile shredding of hard drives and other small electronics exposes workers to airborne and surface metals dust, as is the case with in-plant shredding. But the mobile unit employees may face higher risks because they’re working in a remote and small space with no ventilation, Ceballos told E-Scrap News. Read more about Senior JPB Fellow Diana Ceballos research.