Bioaerosol emissions from a suburban yard waste composting facility.

D D Hryhorczuk 1, L L Curtis 1, P P Scheff 1, J J Chung 1, M M Rizzo 1, C C Lewis 1, N N Keys 1, M M Moomey 1
1 -
Ann Agric Environ Med
2001; 8 (2):
ICID: 4546
The purpose of this study was to assess worker and community exposure to bioaerosols emitted from a suburban yard waste composting facility in northern Illinois, USA. Characterization of on- and off-site viable bioaerosols was undertaken through a total of 288 on- and off-site Andersen samples conducted over 10 sampling days. A total of 46 dust samples and 38 Kramer-Collins spore samples were also collected in this period. Evaluation of the impact of the facility on community bioaerosol concentrations was undertaken by comparing on- and off-site measurements by sampling locations, wind direction, and site activity. On-site concentrations of total spores, Aspergillus/Penicillium spores, total bacteria, Gram-positive bacteria, Gram-negative bacteria, actinomycetes, total particulates, endotoxin, and beta-1,3 glucans were higher than off-site concentrations. Total fungal spores averaged 13,451 spores/m3 (range 5,223-26,067) on-site and 8,772 spores/m3 (range 243-18,276) off-site. Viable bacterial airborne concentrations (in cfu/m3) averaged 11,879 on-site (range 480-78,880) and 3,204 off-site (range 160-17,600). Mean levels of endotoxins (in ng/m3) were 1.94 on-site (range 0.12-6.06) and 0.14 off-site (range 0.01-0.41). Mean levels of beta-1,3 glucans (in ng/m3) were 2.17 on-site (range 0.12-14.45) and 0.24 off-site (range 0.01-0.78). Mean total viable fungi, on the other hand, were higher off-site than on-site (8,651 vs 3,068 cfu/m3). On-site concentrations of total bacteria, Gram-positive bacteria, Gram-negative bacteria, and actinomycetes demonstrated a statistically significant pattern of decreasing concentration with distance from pile and higher downwind vs upwind concentrations. Mean on-site concentrations of viable bacteria, viable fungi, and endotoxins were significantly higher during periods of activity compared to periods of no activity. Off-site concentrations of bacteria were also significantly higher during periods of activity compared to no activity. The highest concentrations of total particulates, endotoxin, and beta-1,3-glucans were observed in the personal samplers worn by workers at the facility. One personal sampler measured an Asp f1 exposure of 22.17 ng/m3 during turning activity. Peak exposures to several bioaerosol constituents were sufficiently high to warrant use of respirators by workers during periods of pile activity that lead to dust generation.
PMID 11748875 - click here to show this article in PubMed

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