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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(10), 12863-12885; doi:10.3390/ijerph121012863

Evidence for Public Health Risks of Wastewater and Excreta Management Practices in Southeast Asia: A Scoping Review

1
Department of Population Medicine, University of Guelph, Guelph 50 Stone Rd. E., Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada
2
Center for Public Health and Ecosystem Research, Hanoi School of Public Health, 138 Giang Vo. Street, Hanoi 10000, Vietnam
3
International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), 17A Nguyen Khang Street, Trung Hoa Ward, Cau Giay District, Hanoi 10000, Vietnam
4
Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, 57 Socinstrasse, CH-4002 Basel, Switzerland and University of Basel, Basel CH-4002, Switzerland
5
Department of Environmental Health, Hanoi School of Public Health, 138 Giang Vo. Street, Hanoi 10000, Vietnam
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 12 August 2015 / Revised: 24 September 2015 / Accepted: 5 October 2015 / Published: 15 October 2015
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Abstract

The use of wastewater and excreta in agriculture is a common practice in Southeast Asia; however, concerns remain about the potential public health risks of this practice. We undertook a scoping review to examine the extent, range, and nature of literature, as well as synthesize the evidence for associations between wastewater and excreta management practices and public health risks in Southeast Asia. Three electronic databases (PubMed, CAB Direct, and Web of Science) were searched and a total of 27 relevant studies were included and evaluated. The available evidence suggested that possible occupational health risks of wastewater and excreta management practices include diarrhea, skin infection, parasitic infection, bacterial infection, and epilepsy. Community members can be at risk for adverse health outcomes through consuming contaminated fish, vegetables, or fruits. Results suggested that practices including handling, treatment, and use of waste may be harmful to human health, particularly farmer’s health. Many studies in this review, however, had limitations including lack of gender analyses, exposure assessment, and longitudinal study designs. These findings suggest that more studies on identifying, quantitatively assessing, and mitigating health risks are needed if sustainable benefits are to be obtained from wastewater and excreta reuse in agriculture in Southeast Asia. View Full-Text
Keywords: health risks; scoping review; Southeast Asia; wastewater management; excreta management; agricultural intensification health risks; scoping review; Southeast Asia; wastewater management; excreta management; agricultural intensification
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Lam, S.; Nguyen-Viet, H.; Tuyet-Hanh, T.T.; Nguyen-Mai, H.; Harper, S. Evidence for Public Health Risks of Wastewater and Excreta Management Practices in Southeast Asia: A Scoping Review. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 12863-12885.

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