Academic Article


  • 2022

Occupational exposure during waste sorting is associated with several health outcomes. This study obtained knowledge about the impact of work in fully automated waste sorting plants (AWSP; n = 3) vs manual waste sorting plants (MWSP; n = 3) on personal exposure (n = 71) to bioaerosols and exposure-related health effects. Personal full-shift air samples were collected using various filter-based active sampling devices that were placed in the workers’ breathing zone. Personal exposure to inhalable and thoracic dust, endotoxin and microorganisms varied considerably between and within types of waste sorting plants (WSP). Workers at AWSP were on average exposed to 0.34 mg/m3 inhalable dust, 0.15 mg/m3 thoracic dust, and 51 EU/m3 endotoxins (geometric mean (GM) levels), whereas GM exposure levels at MWSP were 0.66 mg/m3 for inhalable dust, 0.44 mg/m3 for thoracic dust, and 32 EU/m3 for endotoxins. Exposure to submicronic fungal fragments did not differ between types of plants and ranged from levels below the detection limit (limit of detection, LOD) to levels in the order of 106 fragments/m3. Higher levels of fungal fragments and fungal spores were found at AWSP compared to MWSP with a GM of 2.1 × 105 spores/m3and with a GM of 1.2 × 105...

Eriksen, Elke; Afanou, Komlavi Anani; Madsen, Anne Mette; Straumfors, Anne; Graff, Pål
Environmental Research 218
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