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Article

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

1
Department of Biological Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Ghana, Accra 00233, Ghana
2
Center for Ergonomics, Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2117, USA
3
Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, McGill University, Montréal, QC H9X 3V9, Canada
4
Department of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2029, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(4), 2055; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18042055
Received: 5 December 2020 / Revised: 12 February 2021 / Accepted: 13 February 2021 / Published: 19 February 2021
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: musculoskeletal disorders; ergonomics; electrical and electronic waste (e-waste); informal work; Agbogbloshie musculoskeletal disorders; ergonomics; electrical and electronic waste (e-waste); informal work; Agbogbloshie
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MDPI and ACS Style

Acquah, A.A.; D’Souza, C.; Martin, B.J.; Arko-Mensah, J.; Dwomoh, D.; Nti, A.A.A.; Kwarteng, L.; Takyi, S.A.; Basu, N.; Quakyi, I.A.; Robins, T.G.; Fobil, J.N. Musculoskeletal Disorder Symptoms among Workers at an Informal Electronic-Waste Recycling Site in Agbogbloshie, Ghana. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 2055. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18042055

AMA Style

Acquah AA, D’Souza C, Martin BJ, Arko-Mensah J, Dwomoh D, Nti AAA, Kwarteng L, Takyi SA, Basu N, Quakyi IA, Robins TG, Fobil JN. Musculoskeletal Disorder Symptoms among Workers at an Informal Electronic-Waste Recycling Site in Agbogbloshie, Ghana. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(4):2055. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18042055

Chicago/Turabian Style

Acquah, Augustine A., Clive D’Souza, Bernard J. Martin, John Arko-Mensah, Duah Dwomoh, Afua Asabea Amoabeng Nti, Lawrencia Kwarteng, Sylvia A. Takyi, Niladri Basu, Isabella A. Quakyi, Thomas G. Robins, and Julius N. Fobil. 2021. "Musculoskeletal Disorder Symptoms among Workers at an Informal Electronic-Waste Recycling Site in Agbogbloshie, Ghana" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 4: 2055. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18042055

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