Disease Risks of Occupational Exposure to Sewage

by C. Scott Clark, Asst. Prof.; Dept. of Environmental Health, Univ. of Cincinnati Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio,
Terrence M. Briggs, Doctoral Candidate; Dept. of Environmental Health, Univ. of Cincinnati Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio,
John P. Phair, Assoc. Prof. and Asst. Dir.; Infectious Disease Div., Dept. of Medicine, Univ. of Cincinnati Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio,
Clavin C. Linneman, Jr., Asst. Prof.; Dept. of Medicine, and Hospital Epidemiologist, Cincinnati General Hospital, Univ. of Cincinnati Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio,
Gilbert M. Schiff, Prof.; Dir. of Infectious Disease Div., Dept. of Medicine, and Chf., Clinical Virology Lab., Univ. of Cincinnati Medical Center,
Edward J. Cleary, Adjunct Professor; Dept. of Environmental Health, Univ. of Cincinnati Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio,


Serial Information: Journal of the Environmental Engineering Division, 1976, Vol. 102, Issue 2, Pg. 375-388


Document Type: Journal Paper

Abstract:

A need exists for assessment of the potential health risks to the public from waters receiving waste discharges. Some insight concerning such risks may be gained from a review of studies of persons exposed on an occupational basis to wastewater, i.e., those working at wastewater treatment plants and in sewers. The most complete investigation in the literature was a retrospective study of Berlin sewer workers reported in 1954. This investigation revealed less evidence of occupational disease hazards than a number of more limited studies which showed increased antibody levels to leptospirosis, frequent gastrointestinal illness, and increased parasitic infections, such as Endamoeba histolytica, Ascaris lumbricoides, and Trichurus trichiura. Studies on airborne transmission from wastewater have thus far focused on bacterial levels near waste treatment facilities and not on health effects.



Subject Headings: Wastewater treatment plants | Diseases | Waste treatment plants | Sewage | Water discharge | Sewers | Occupational safety | Risk management | Berlin | Germany | Europe

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