For 2.5 years in graduate school, I led a Duke Bass Connections project investigating the global maternal and child health effects of electronic waste (e-waste) recycling in developing countries. E-waste refers to discarded electronics, which are often brought into communities in developing nations to be dismantled in order to salvage precious materials. Notably, this electronic scrap contains hazardous materials such as lead, cadmium, mercury, plasticizers, and brominated flame retardants. As such, the e-waste recycling process is associated with substantial environmental pollution and numerous human illnesses in recycling communities.
In May 2019, we traveled to China to conduct introductory field and lab research to set up the projects. My subsequent Bass Connections teams and related classes used this research to build research projects and elaborate on findings of interest. Although my work focused on maternal and fetal health outcomes from environmental exposure to e-waste, I led and contributed to policy and community-based research projects.
E-waste Recycling Website that provides resources for community education and involvement
Policy Brief summarizing China's e-waste policies and regulations in practice.
Online Team Profile on Bass Connections website.
Research Poster highlighting institutional policies regulating e-waste, results from community surveying in Taizhou, and individual exposure levels
Review paper focused on the maternal and child health effects of e-waste recycling in global communities (not yet published)