ORIGINAL RESEARCH
Biological Risks from Long-Term Storage of Wood Chips
Martin Lieskovský1, Miloš Gejdoš1,Valéria Messingerová1, Miroslav Němec2, Zuzana Danihelová3, Veronika Moravčíková1
 
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1Technical University in Zvolen, Faculty of Forestry, Department of Forest Harvesting, Logistics and Ameliorations,
T. G. Masaryka 24, Zvolen 960 53, Slovakia
2Technical University in Zvolen, Faculty of Wood Sciences and Technology, Department of Physics,
Electrical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, T.G. Masaryka 24, Zvolen 960 53, Slovakia
3Technical University in Zvolen, Institute of Foreign Languages,
T. G. Masaryka 24, Zvolen 960 53, Slovakia
Online publish date: 2017-10-02
Publish date: 2017-11-07
Submission date: 2017-03-27
Final revision date: 2017-04-20
Acceptance date: 2017-04-22
 
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2017;26(6):2633–2641
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ABSTRACT
The aim of our study was to monitor and analyze the main biological hazards connected to the long-term storage of wood chips for energy production. The analysis was carried out in four high-capacity storage yards of the town heating plants in the Banská Bystrica self-governing region in Slovakia. Five samples were taken from each pile of a rectangular shape and volume over 4,000 m3; the sampling was carried out at the beginning of the monitoring period and at the end of the monitoring period (after one year). Thirtyfour species of microscopic fungi were identified (18 at the beginning of the monitoring period and 16 at the end of the monitoring period). Thirty-three of them can potentially cause severe diseases. Fungi of the genus Aspergillus, causing severe diseases, were identified as the most abundant. The research confirmed that if the length of storage time is more than a year, the potential hazards for human health increase due to the increasing number of spore-forming pathogens. Following the monitoring of atmospheric conditions the highest increase of harmful spores was recorded at the average annual temperature of 10ºC and precipitation of over 1,000 mm a year.
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