Advertisement

Morbidity among municipal waste incinerator workers: a cross-sectional study

  • Martine HoursEmail author
  • Lucie Anzivino-Viricel
  • Anne Maitre
  • Alain Perdrix
  • Yves Perrodin
  • Barbara Charbotel
  • Alain Bergeret
Short Communication

Abstract

Objectives

In order that the occupational exposures and health risks for municipal waste incinerator operators be better determined, a study was carried out in three centres.

Methods

A transversal study was carried out for 102 male incinerator workers matched for age with 94 male workers from other industrial activities. Three groups of exposed workers were considered (group 1: "crane operators" and "equipment operators"; group 2: "furnace " workers ; group 3: "maintenance" and "effluent-treatment" workers). Data were collected through a questionnaire and medical examination. The respiratory function was explored and blood samples were taken for biological analysis. Statistical analysis using chi2 or Student's test, and calculation of odds-ratio (OR) using logistic regression analysis were performed.

Results

There were no significant differences in general symptoms between the two groups. Skin symptoms (OR =4.85; 2.04–11.51 for the "maintenance and effluent" workers) were more often observed in the exposed group. An excess of respiratory problems was also encountered: daily coughing ["maintenance and effluent" groups (OR =2.55; 0.84–7.75); "furnace men" (OR =6.58; 2.18–19.85)]. A significant relationship between exposure and the decrease of several pulmonary parameters was observed. The liver and haematological tests were well within the normal range; nevertheless, a slight but significant increase in the white blood cells was observed in the exposed group. Higher blood lead levels were found for exposed workers.

Conclusion

There were few adverse health effects in our morbidity study but skin irritation and cough were more frequent in the exposed workers. A slight decrease in pulmonary function was observed. These findings are in agreement with those of several other studies.

Keywords

Municipal waste incinerator Cross-sectional morbidity study Skin symptoms Respiratory function Blood lead level 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Thanks to Dr. M. Richioud, Dr. J. Robinet, and Dr. P. Panchairi for their interest in the realization of this study and for having collected medical data, and to Dr. R. Cadot for his blood-lead analysis. Thanks also to our grant sponsor: Ademe (French Agency for Environment and Energy Management); grant number 4 93 0027.

References

  1. An H, Englehardt J, Fleming L, Bean J (1999) Occupational health and safety amongst municipal solid waste workers in Florida. Waste Manage Res 17:369–377CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Angerer J, Heinzow B, Reimann DO, Knorz W, Lehnert G (1992) Internal exposure to organic substances in a municipal waste incinerator. Int Arch Occup Environ Health 64:265–273PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Boswell RT, McCunney RJ (1995) Bronchiolitis obliterans from exposure to incinerator fly ash. J Occup Environ Med 37:850–855PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Bresnitz EA, Roseman J, Becker D, Gracely E (1992) Morbidity among municipal waste incinerator workers. Am J Ind Med 22:363–378PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Gellin GA (1985) Dermatoses acquired by solid-waste handlers. Am J Ind Med 8:363–370PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Gonzales CA, Kogevinas M, Gadea E, Huici A, Bosch A, Bleda MJ, Päpke O (2000) Biomonitoring study of people living near or working at a municipal solid-waste incinerator before and after two years of operation. Arch Environ Health 55:259–267PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Hu SW, Hazucha M, Shy CM (2001) Waste incineration and pulmonary function: an epidemiologic study of six communities. J Air Waste Manage Assoc 51:1185–1194Google Scholar
  8. Ivens UI, Ebbehoj N, Poulsen OM, Skov T (1997) Season, equipment, and job function related to gastrointestinal problems in waste collectors. Occup Environ Med 54:861–867PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Lundholm M, Rylander R (1980) Occupational symptoms among compost workers. J Occup Med 22:256257PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Maitre A, Collot-Fertey D, Anzivino L, Marques M, Hours M, Stoklov M (2003) Municipal waste incinerators: air and biological monitoring to particles, metals, and organic compounds. Occup Environ Med (in press)Google Scholar
  11. Malkin R, Brandt-Rauf P, Graziano J, Parides M (1992) Blood lead levels in incinerator workers. Environ Res 59:265–270PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Malmros P, Sigsgaard T, Bach B (1992) Occupational health problems due to garbage sorting. Waste Manage Res 10:227—234Google Scholar
  13. Nielsen EM, Breum NO, Herbert Nielsen B, Wurtz H, Poulsen OM, Midtgaard U (1997) Bioaerosol exposure in waste collection: a comparative study on the significance of collection equipment, type of waste and seasonal variation. Ann Occup Hyg 41:325–344CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Poulsen OM, Breum NO, Ebbehoj N, Hansen AM (1995) Collection of domestic waste. Review of occupational health problems and their possible causes. Sci Total Environ 170:1–19CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Quanjer PH (1983) Standardized lung function testing: chapter 7, summary equations of reference values, Bull Eur Physiopathol Respir 19 [Suppl 5]:45–51Google Scholar
  16. Rahkonen P (1992) Airborne contaminants at waste treatment plants. Waste Manage Res 10:411–421Google Scholar
  17. Rylander R, Bake B, Fischer JJ, Helander IM (1989) Pulmonary function and symptoms after inhalation of endotoxins. Am Rev Respir Dis 140:981–986PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Schecter A, Papke O, Ball M, Lis A, Brandt-Rauf P (1995) Dioxin concentrations in the blood of workers at municipal waste incinerators. Occup Environ Med 52:385–387PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Thorn J, Beijer L, Rylander R (1998) Airways inflammation and glucan exposure among household collectors. Am J Ind Med 33:463–470PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Wrbitzky R, Göen T, Letzel S, Frank F, Angerer J (1995) Internal exposure of waste incineration workers to organic and inorganic substances. Int Arch Occup Environ Health 68:13–21PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martine Hours
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lucie Anzivino-Viricel
    • 1
  • Anne Maitre
    • 2
  • Alain Perdrix
    • 2
  • Yves Perrodin
    • 3
  • Barbara Charbotel
    • 1
  • Alain Bergeret
    • 1
  1. 1.Unité Mixte de Recherche Epidémiologique Transport Travail EnvironnementUniversité Claude Bernard Lyon I/INRETS. Domaine RockefellerLyon Cedex 08France
  2. 2.Department of Occupational Médicine, GPSP Laboratory, Faculté de Médecine de GrenobleUniversité Joseph Fourier. Domaine de la MerciLa TroncheFrance
  3. 3.Laboratoire des Sciences de l'EnvironnementEcole Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'EtatVaulx-en-Velin CedexFrance

Personalised recommendations