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Bioaerosol in Composting Facilities : Occupational Health Risk Assessment

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Literature review and work of data combining provided suggestive evidence of an association between occupational exposure to bioaerosol in composting plants and health outcome occurrence in exposed workers. An occupational exposure assessment in six composting plants was performed in order to better characterize personal exposure levels and evaluate associated health risk in workers. Sampling results showed large ranges of concentrations of dust, endotoxin, mesophilic bacteria, Gram negative bacteria, mesophilic molds, Aspergillus fumigatus and thermophilic actinomycetes in ambient air and in personal samples, both when driving a vehicle and when cleaning, monitoring and performing maintenance tasks. Mean personal exposure levels were high, 100 to more than 10,000 times higher than outdoor background levels and fully consistent with occurrence of inflammatory and allergic respiratory outcomes among workers. Appropriate means of collective and personal protection are being developed and implemented on sites, as well as an education and training program for the employees, health and safety officials and occupational physicians.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-01-01

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