Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) have been found in ambient air around municipal waste incinerators (MWIs), and elevated serum levels in incinerator workers have also been observed in some studies. However, few studies have focused on temporary employees who work intermittently through the annual maintenance and clean-up around different incinerators. The present study aimed to assess the change in serum PCDD/F levels of temporary employees between the beginning of periodic incinerator maintenance and one month the work was completed. Thirty-five volunteer workers, most of them transient and temporary maintenance staff, were recruited from a contractor that provided annual maintenance for four incinerators in this study. Information about each participant was obtained by questionnaire at the beginning of annual maintenance. The questionnaire asked for work history, health status, and diet information. As measured by the PCDD/F levels in blood, a significant increase was observed in workers after a month of maintenance work. The increase was greater in workers who had never done this type of maintenance than in those with previous experience, especially for 2,3,4,6,7,8-HxCDF levels. The data also showed that the laborers and employers need to pay more attention to occupational health issues even for short-term incinerator maintenance workers.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Engineering
- Environmental Chemistry
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis