Assessment of microbial exposure risks from handling of biofuel wood chipsand straw--effect of outdoor storage.

Aleksandra Sebastian 1, Anne Mette Madsen 2, Lennart Martensson 2, Dorota Pomorska 2, Lennart Larsson 2
1 - Department of Laboratory Medicine, Division of Medical Microbiology, Lund University,Lund, Sweden.
2 -
Ann Agric Environ Med
2006; 13 (1):
ICID: 468146
Article type: Original article
Handling of biofuels may release dust particles containing high concentrationsof Hazardous microorganisms, thus representing a potential occupational health problem. We analysed themicrobial dustiness of baled straw (cultivated both conventionally and ecologically) and of wood chipsfrom piles that had been stored outdoors for up to 11 months by using total spore counting, cultivation,and measuring of endotoxin and chemical markers of fungal biomass, lipopolysaccharide, and peptidoglycan.The bacterial dustiness of straw was much greater than of wood chips whereas the fungal dustiness didnot differ much. In general, samples taken from the inner part of each biofuel material were dustierthan samples taken from the surface, except for fungal and bacterial biomass in wood chips and totalfungi and fungal biomass in ecological straw. A considerable increase of bacterial dustiness occurredduring storage over summer. Dust from ecological straw contained considerably less of bacterial componentsthan from conventional straw and, in addition, exhibited a less pronounced increase upon storage oversummer. In summary, biofuels represent sustainable energy resources of growing economic importance butmay at the same time pose significant health problems. We found that storage of biofuels outdoors oversummer increased the microbiological dustiness and should therefore be avoided, and that ecological strawcontained less of microbe-containing dust than conventional straw and should be preferred since it reducesthe exposure to harmful microbiological agents.
PMID 16858899 - click here to show this article in PubMed

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     muramic acid [0 related records]
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     Bacteria [361 related records]
     Occupational Health [695 related records]
     straw [32 related records]
     wood chips [2 related records]


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