Journal of occupational health

An evaluation of the occupational health risks to workers in a hazardous waste incinerator.

PMID 15090692


A study was conducted to evaluate the health impact of airborne pollutants on incinerator workers at IZAYDAS Incinerator, Turkey. Ambient air samples were taken from two sampling points in the incinerator area and analyzed for particulate matter, heavy metals, volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds (VOCs and SVOCs) and dioxins. The places where the maximum exposure was expected to occur were selected in determining the sampling points. The first point was placed in the front area of the rotary kiln, between the areas of barrel feeding, aqueous and liquid waste storage and solid waste feeding, and the second one was near the fly ash transfer line from the ash silo. Results were evaluated based on the regulations related to occupational health. Benzene, dibromochloropropane (DBCP) and hexachlorobutadiene (HCBD) concentrations in the ambient air of the plant were measured at levels higher than the occupational exposure limits. Dioxin concentrations were measured as 0.050 and 0.075 pg TEQ.m(-3), corresponding to a daily intake between 0.007 and 0.01 pg TEQ. kg body weight(-1).day (-1). An assessment of dioxin congener and homologue profiles suggested that gaseous fractions of dioxin congeners are higher in front of the rotary kiln, while most of them are in particle-bound phases near the ash conveyor. Finally, the necessity of further studies including occupational health and medical surveillance assessments on the health effects of the pollutants for the workers and the general population in such an industrialized area was emphasized.