Fly ash and ambient emissions of municipal solid waste incinerators contain polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), other organic compounds, metals, and gases. Hazardous substances such as PCDD/Fs, mercury vapors and other silicates, and the components of bottom ash and fly ash elevate the oxidative damage. We compared oxidative damage in workers exposed to hazardous substances at a bottom ash recovery plant and 3 fly ash treatment plants in Taiwan by measuring their levels of plasma malondialdehyde (M D A) and urine 8 - hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OH-dG). Significantly higher MDA levels were found in fly ash treatment plant workers (3.20 μM) than in bottom ash plant workers (0.58 μM). There was a significant association between MDA levels in workers and their working environment, especially in the fly ash treatment plants. Levels of 8-OH-dG varied more widely in bottom ash workers than in fly ash workers. The association between occupational exposure and 8-OH-dG levels may be affected by the life style of the workers. Because more dioxins and metals may leach from fly ash than from bottom ash, fly ash treatment plant workers should, as much as possible, avoid exposing themselves to fly ash.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health