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Workers' exposure to bioaerosols from three different types of composting facilities

Workers' exposure to bioaerosols from three different types of composting facilities Composting is a natural dynamic biological process used to valorise putrescible organic matter. The composting process can involve vigorous movements of waste material piles, which release high concentrations of bioaerosols into the surrounding environment. There is a lack of knowledge concerning the dispersal of airborne microorganisms emitted by composting plants (CP) as well as the potential occupational exposure of composting workers. The aim of this study was to investigate the workers exposure to bioaerosols during working activities in three different types of composting facilities (domestic, manure, carcass) using two different quantification methods (cultivation and qPCR) for bacteria and moulds concentrations. As expected, even if there are differences between all CP frameworks, independently of the type of the raw compost used, the production of bioaerosols increases significantly during handling activities. Important concentrations of mesophilic moulds and mesophilic bacteria were noted in the working areas with a respective maximal concentration of 2.3 × 105 CFU/m3 and 1.6 × 105 CFU/m3. A. fumigatus and thermophilic Actinomycetes were also detected in all working areas for the 3 CP. This study emphases the risks for workers to being in contact with aerosolized pathogens such as Mycobacterium and Legionella and more specifically, L. pneumophila. The presence of high concentration of these bacteria in CP suggests a potential occupational health risk. This study may lead to recommendations for the creation of limits for occupational exposure. There is a need for identifying the standards exposure limits to bioaerosols in CP and efficient recommendation for a better protection of workers' health. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Occupational & Environmental Hygiene Taylor & Francis

Workers' exposure to bioaerosols from three different types of composting facilities

Workers' exposure to bioaerosols from three different types of composting facilities

Journal of Occupational & Environmental Hygiene , Volume 14 (10): 8 – Oct 3, 2017

Abstract

Composting is a natural dynamic biological process used to valorise putrescible organic matter. The composting process can involve vigorous movements of waste material piles, which release high concentrations of bioaerosols into the surrounding environment. There is a lack of knowledge concerning the dispersal of airborne microorganisms emitted by composting plants (CP) as well as the potential occupational exposure of composting workers. The aim of this study was to investigate the workers exposure to bioaerosols during working activities in three different types of composting facilities (domestic, manure, carcass) using two different quantification methods (cultivation and qPCR) for bacteria and moulds concentrations. As expected, even if there are differences between all CP frameworks, independently of the type of the raw compost used, the production of bioaerosols increases significantly during handling activities. Important concentrations of mesophilic moulds and mesophilic bacteria were noted in the working areas with a respective maximal concentration of 2.3 × 105 CFU/m3 and 1.6 × 105 CFU/m3. A. fumigatus and thermophilic Actinomycetes were also detected in all working areas for the 3 CP. This study emphases the risks for workers to being in contact with aerosolized pathogens such as Mycobacterium and Legionella and more specifically, L. pneumophila. The presence of high concentration of these bacteria in CP suggests a potential occupational health risk. This study may lead to recommendations for the creation of limits for occupational exposure. There is a need for identifying the standards exposure limits to bioaerosols in CP and efficient recommendation for a better protection of workers' health.

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References (40)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
© 2017 JOEH, LLC
ISSN
1545-9632
eISSN
1545-9624
DOI
10.1080/15459624.2017.1335054
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Composting is a natural dynamic biological process used to valorise putrescible organic matter. The composting process can involve vigorous movements of waste material piles, which release high concentrations of bioaerosols into the surrounding environment. There is a lack of knowledge concerning the dispersal of airborne microorganisms emitted by composting plants (CP) as well as the potential occupational exposure of composting workers. The aim of this study was to investigate the workers exposure to bioaerosols during working activities in three different types of composting facilities (domestic, manure, carcass) using two different quantification methods (cultivation and qPCR) for bacteria and moulds concentrations. As expected, even if there are differences between all CP frameworks, independently of the type of the raw compost used, the production of bioaerosols increases significantly during handling activities. Important concentrations of mesophilic moulds and mesophilic bacteria were noted in the working areas with a respective maximal concentration of 2.3 × 105 CFU/m3 and 1.6 × 105 CFU/m3. A. fumigatus and thermophilic Actinomycetes were also detected in all working areas for the 3 CP. This study emphases the risks for workers to being in contact with aerosolized pathogens such as Mycobacterium and Legionella and more specifically, L. pneumophila. The presence of high concentration of these bacteria in CP suggests a potential occupational health risk. This study may lead to recommendations for the creation of limits for occupational exposure. There is a need for identifying the standards exposure limits to bioaerosols in CP and efficient recommendation for a better protection of workers' health.

Journal

Journal of Occupational & Environmental HygieneTaylor & Francis

Published: Oct 3, 2017

Keywords: Bioaerosols; composting plant; worker's exposure

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