Children of Guiyu, China

In 2013, Guiyu, China held the Guinness World record for being the largest e-waste site in the world, with 60-80% of the 150,000 population working in the informal e-waste recycling sector.

Because of smashing and burning electronics, 82% of Guiyu children – like the children pictured above – aged under six have elevated levels of lead in their blood. Lead exposure lowers IQs, impairs learning, and causes a host of health problems.

Young children are most vulnerable because of their height. Lead concentrates in the air 75-100 cm off the ground, which is right at their eye level.

Their lead contamination is directly caused by improper e-waste recycling activities. Lead is the most widely used heavy metal is electronics.

BAN and Guiyu

Jim Puckett, BAN's executive director, snapped the above photo of these Guiyu children in 2008. By striving to end toxic trade, we work tirelessly to address the root causes of their lead exposure.

BAN champions global environmental health and justice by ending toxic trade, catalyzing a toxics-free future, and campaigning for everyone’s right to a flourishing environment.

As a non-profit, BAN relies on the generosity of donors to support our programs.

Your support helps us address one of the world’s biggest environmental and human rights challenges.

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Data Sources

The above data about Guiyu, the e-waste recycling village in China's Guangdong Province, is from:

Huo, X et al., 2007. Elevated Blood Lead Levels of Children in Guiyu, an Electronic Waste Recycling Town in Chin.

Gilbert, S. 2012. A Small Dose of Toxicology: The Health Effects of Common Chemicals, 2nd edition.