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Document ID (ISN)102302
CIS number 03-1429
ISSN - Serial title 0170-2327 - Ergo-Med
Year 2002
Convention or series no.
Author(s) Neumann H.D., Balfanz J., Becker G., Mathys W., Raulf-Heimsoth M.
Title Risk of exposure to germs among waste collection and waste disposal workers
Original title Gefährdung von Beschäftigten bei der Abfallsammlung und -abfuhr durch Keimexpositionen [in German]
Bibliographic information May-June 2002, Vol.26, No.3, p.72-77. Illus. 18 ref.
Internet access 03-1429.pdf [in German]
Abstract The introduction of waste separation has somewhat modified the working conditions of garbage collectors, in particular with respect to their exposure to bioaerosols. The objective of this study was to evaluate the exposure of garbage collectors, with a focus on determining whether the level of exposure varied as a function of the type of waste stream, the frequency of removal and seasons, and whether it presented a risk to the workers' health. Exposure to fungi, bacteria and bacterial endotoxins was measured under both real and standardized conditions, and 220 garbage collectors were subjected to medical examinations to determine their state of health. Exposure tests show that garbage collectors are exposed to microbial emissions that are significantly higher than background levels (total moulds 202-204 CFU/m3), but nonetheless lower than the expected values. Driver exposures are much lower than those of workers loading the truck. No correlations were found between the state of health and the exposure to microbial germs, and no significant differences were observed between exposure to organic and inorganic waste.
Descriptors (primary) spores; refuse collection; biological hazards; bacterial toxins; fungi; bacteria
Descriptors (secondary) moulds; exposure evaluation; aerosols; state of health
Document type D - Periodical articles
Country / State or ProvinceGermany
Subject(s) Commerce, services, offices
Broad subject area(s) Biological hazards
Browse category(ies) Biological hazards
Waste collection and disposal