Reduce pollution. Save lives. Protect the planet.

Uruguay (Montevideo) – Micro Toxic Hotspots

the details…
Key pollutant
E-waste recycling
  • Direct contact
  • Soil
Population affected
Children Under 6 Affected
DALYs averted
E-waste recycling
Date started
June 2013
Date completed
March 2015
Cost of project
Project Partners

City of Montevideo

This pilot project, conducted in partnership with the City of Montevideo, is evaluating and cleaning up micro toxic hotspots located in residential areas throughout the “Cuenca del Arroyo Pantanoso” (Pantanoso River Basin) in the city of Montevideo.

See Prezi and video overview of project

Blood sampling found elevated lead levels in local children under age six, associated with exposure to lead from contaminated electronic/electric waste recycling areas. The project is enabling the evaluation of in-situ remediation technologies to limit the bioavailability of lead, such as the use of phosphates, and exploring options to formalize the recycling industry to protect livelihoods, health and the urban environment.

Blacksmith Institute trained the City Government to assess and remediate in site assessment and micro lead contaminated hotspots. Clean up activities, such as shallow scraping of contaminated soil, removal to municipal landfill, and backfilling with clean fill, to remove high soil lead concentrations were carried out in two areas of the Aquiles Lanza neighborhood. The project team is also working with local communities to raise awareness about the hazards of cable and electronic waste burning.