Respiratory System Symptoms in the Neighborhood of a Wastewater Treatment Plant
Aleksandra Jaremków1, Leszek Noga2, Krystyna Pawlas1, 3
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1Department of Hygiene, Wroclaw Medical University, J. Mikulicza-Radeckiego 7, 50-368 Wroclaw, Poland
2Department of Pathophysiology, Wroclaw Medical University, Marcinkowskiego 1, 50-368 Wroclaw, Poland
3Institute of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health, 13 Kościelna, 41-200 Sosnowiec, Poland
Submission date: 2017-03-17
Final revision date: 2017-05-24
Acceptance date: 2017-05-26
Online publication date: 2017-11-23
Publication date: 2018-01-02
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2018;27(1):117–127
The aim of our study was to assess the incidence of respiratory system disorders among residents in the neighborhood of a wastewater treatment plant compared to the population living outside the impact area. We conducted a questionnaire survey on two populations: one from the vicinity of the wastewater treatment plant (586 people) and another from a village located far away from the plant (502 people). Studied populations were also divided according to place of residence and distance from the plant: zones A, B, C. Survey questions concerned the respiratory system symptoms and housing conditions. Respondents from the exposed group reported the following symptoms more often than the control group: frequent colds, recurrent respiratory tract infections, throat irritation, dyspnoea, recurrent rhinitis, and nasal irritation/ burning sensation. Among the risk factors for respiratory disorders, significant were: living in blocks of flats (OR = 1.78; CI 1.13-2.81), air pollution by odours (OR = 1.64; CI 1.04-2.56), period of residence (OR = 1.02; CI 1.00-1.03) and age of respondents (OR = 0.98; CI 0.97-0.98), while the ownership of pets had a protective effect (OR<1). Reported symptoms were also associated with air pollution by staphylococci (OR~5). The obtained results show that proximity to a wastewater treatment plant deteriorates the health of nearby residents.