Indoor Disposal of Household Waste as a Source of Environmental Biohazard Exposure
Alina Buczyńska, Marcin Cyprowski, Irena Szadkowska-Stańczyk
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Department of Environmental Health Hazards, Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine,
Teresy 8, 91-348 Łódź, Poland
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2011;20(4):851–856
In our study we evaluated the technical condition and microbiological contamination (bacteria, fungi, bacterial endotoxins) of indoor chute devices (lower waste chambers, waste disposal rooms) in multistoried residential buildings. Microbiological analysis was performed according to the standard procedures. LAL test was used for endotoxins assay. The most frequently reported problem (76% of respondents) connected with the operation of indoor waste chute devices was odor nuisance due to sanitary negligence and frequently clogged chute channels. The average concentration of airborne microorganisms amounted to 1.66×103 cfu/m3 (fungi: 1.17×103 cfu/m3; bacteria: 4.96×102 cfu/m3). Fourteen genera/species of the leading microorganisms were determined in indoor chute devices. The mean concentration of endotoxins amounted to 1.81±2.61 ng/m3. The effect of seasonal variability of endotoxins’ levels was observed (summer: 3.33 ng/m3, winter: 0.98 ng/m3, p<0.001). The highest level of biocontaminants was found in the chute premises located on the lowest floors of the buildings (p<0.05). The indoor waste chute systems in multistoried buildings constitutes a source of microbiological contaminants. Because of the common sanitary and technical negligences connected with the use of waste chutes, it’s important to implement plans for cleaning and proper maintenance of the indoor chute devices or to make decisions about their liquidation.