360 Environmental support both public and private industrial waste facilities undertaking detailed health risk assessment and the development of Occupational Hygiene Monitoring Programs.
Significant progress has been made in the regulation and management of landfill emissions in recent years. With clear rational, this emphasis has been on the public and environment yet Waste and Landfill Workers are an occupational group requiring further attention.
Health effects associated with landfill and municipal waste contaminants include increased risk of occupational asthma and abnormalities of lung function. Hazardous processes requiring assessment include recycling of batteries and cables that may pose a risk of lead poisoning and exposure to other heavy metals. Also, recycling of fluorescent lights associated with mercury poisoning and occupational asthma associated with wood and paper recycling.
The recycling of electronic waste has the potential to lead to exposure to heavy metals and organic pollutants, such as polybrominated diphenyl ethers, dioxins and polyaromatic hydrocarbons. These have been linked to DNA damage and adverse neonatal outcomes.
Reference Poole, C., & Basu, S. (2017). Systematic Review: Occupational illness in the waste and recycling sector. Occupational medicine (Oxford, England), 67(8), 626–636. https://doi.org/10.1093/occmed/kqx153