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Metrics for Comparing Microbial Risk from Biosolids

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Class B biosolids have been found to contain a wide variety of pathogens at detectable levels. Due to the complexity and expense of pathogen-specific microbiological assays, monitoring efforts need to be focused on those pathogens which present the greatest risk. However, the health risk presented by a pathogen is a function of several different factors. First, the concentration of the pathogen typically found in biosolids, which directly influences the dose. Second, the dose response characteristics of the microbe, that is, how many microbes are required to produce a specified probability of producing infection. The dose required for a 50% chance of infection can vary from fewer than ten to hundreds of thousands of organisms. A third factor is persistence in the environment, as the longer a microbe endures in the environment, the more opportunities for exposure will accrue over time.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2010

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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