May 2003, Effects of bioaerosol polluted outdoor air on airways of residents: a cross sectional study. Large scale yard waste composting can produce significant quanties of airborne bacteria, bacterial endotoxins, fungi, mycotoxins and other microrganisms (Bioaerosols). A German study reported that airborne levels of bacteria, fungi and actinomcycetes (a form of bacteria) were about 10 to 1,000 times as high in areas within 300 meters downwind from a large yard waste composting site as compared to areas more than 500 meters from the composting site. Airborne byioaoersol levels near the composting site were as high as 8 million bacteria spores per cubic meter of air and 5 million fungal spores per cubic meter. A cross sectional health study of 214 residents living near the site found that many health problems with significantly more common than in residents living further from the site. Health problems significantly more common in residents near the compost site include bronchitis (3.0 times as common in residents near the site), shortness of breath (4.0 times as common), chronic cough (2.7 times), eye irritation (2.4) and chronic fatigue (2.8). Additional studies on large scale composting and health are planed.
- C Herr et al. Effects of bioaerosol polluted outdoor air on airways of residents: a cross
sectional study. Occupational and Environmental Medicine May 2003;60(5):336-342.
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