Managing the potential public health risks from bioaerosol liberation at commercial composting sites in the UK: An analysis of the evidence base
Wildsmith, John D.
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The diversion of biodegradable waste from landfill is of key importance in developing a sustainable waste strategy for the next decade and beyond. The proliferation of waste treatment technologies such as Mechanical Biological Treatment, Anaerobic Digestion and Composting will be paramount in achieving this strategic goal. This paper evaluates the scientific information needed to undertake an effective assessment of the potential public health risks from exposure to bioaerosols in the vicinity of commercial composting activities. Knowledge gaps currently exist in the scientific and regulatory community that limit our ability to effectively characterise source-term emissions, develop reliable dose–response data and accurately model the dispersion of bioaerosols. Consequently reliable risk estimates cannot be developed to inform the management of these potential risks. This uncertainty may prove a barrier to progress in achieving waste diversion and composting targets in Wales and the rest of the UK. A robust and extensive evidence base is required to inform the risk assessment process. This paper advocates the need for further, more focussed research into hazard characterisation of viable and non-viable organisms, improved dose–response data, exposure assessment techniques and an evaluation of the existing risk control and mitigation measures currently adopted. It is hoped that his will enable effective, timely and proportional risk management and mitigation measures to be developed that will foster the confidence required in composting technologies to achieve waste diversion targets and develop sustainable waste strategies
Resources, Conservation and Recycling;
Resources, Conservation and Recycling, Volume 52, Issue 2, December 2007, Pages 410–424
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