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Document ID (ISN)107427
CIS number 07-1312
ISSN - Serial title 0340-0131 - International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health
Year 2007
Convention or series no.
Author(s) Bünger J., Schappler-Scheele B., Hilgers R., Hallier E.
Title A 5-year follow-up study on respiratory disorders and lung function in workers exposed to organic dust from composting plants
Bibliographic information Feb. 2007, Vol.80, No.4, p.306-312. Illus. 33 ref.
Abstract The objective of this case-control study was to evaluate acute and chronic effects of long-term exposure to organic dust on respiratory disorders and lung function among employees of 41 composting facilities in Germany. It involved 218 compost workers and 66 unexposed controls. They were evaluated using a standardized questionnaire, a clinical examination and spirometric measurements. Changes in symptoms, respiratory disorders and lung function were again determined after five years of exposure in 123 compost workers and 48 controls. Working atmosphere measurements were performed at six composting facilities for respirable dust, cultivable microorganisms and endotoxins. Findings are discussed. The exposure to organic dust at workplaces of composting facilities is associated with adverse acute and chronic respiratory health effects, including mucosal membrane irritation, chronic bronchitis and an accelerated decline of forced vital capacity. The pattern of health effects differs from those at other workplaces with exposures to organic dust possibly due to high concentrations of thermo-tolerant or thermophilic actinomycetes and filamentous fungi at composting plants.
Descriptors (primary) compost; Germany; risk factors; organic dust; respiratory diseases
Descriptors (secondary) chronic bronchitis; medical examinations; fungi; irritation; maximal expiratory flow; respirable dust; pulmonary function; exposure evaluation; mucous membranes; questionnaire survey; case-control study; breathing atmosphere; long-term study; spirometry; determination in air; bacterial toxins
Document type D - Periodical articles
Country / State or ProvinceGermany
Subject(s) Environmental pollution
Broad subject area(s) Chemical safety
Occupational medicine, epidemiology
Browse category(ies) Diseases of the respiratory system (except for pneumoconiosis & similar)