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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(2), 354; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15020354

The Use of Biomass for Electricity Generation: A Scoping Review of Health Effects on Humans in Residential and Occupational Settings

1
Boysen TU Dresden Graduate School, Technische Universität Dresden, 01062 Dresden, Germany
2
Institute and Policlinic of Occupational and Social Medicine, Medical Faculty Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, 01307 Dresden, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 December 2017 / Revised: 2 February 2018 / Accepted: 14 February 2018 / Published: 16 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Occupational Safety and Health)
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Abstract

The utilization of biomass for power generation has become more prevalent globally. To survey the status of evidence concerning resulting health impacts and to depict potential research needs, a scoping-review was conducted. Biomass life cycle phases of interest were the conversion and combustion phases. Studies from occupational and residential settings were considered. The scoping review was conducted systematically, comprising an extensive literature search, a guided screening process, in-duplicate data extraction, and critical appraisal. Two reviewers executed most review steps. Nine articles of relevance were identified. In occupational settings of biomass plants, exposure to endotoxins and fungi might be associated with respiratory disorders. An accidental leakage of hydrogen sulfide in biogas plants may lead to fatalities or severe health impacts. Living near biomass power plants (and the accompanied odorous air pollution) may result in an increased risk for several symptoms and odor annoyance, mediated by perception about air pollution or an evaluation of a resulting health risk. The methodological quality of included studies varied a lot. Overall, the body of evidence on the topic is sparse and future high-quality research is strongly recommended. View Full-Text
Keywords: bioenergy plants; biomass; electricity generation; health impact; occupational setting; workers; residential setting; residents; scoping review bioenergy plants; biomass; electricity generation; health impact; occupational setting; workers; residential setting; residents; scoping review
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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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Freiberg, A.; Scharfe, J.; Murta, V.C.; Seidler, A. The Use of Biomass for Electricity Generation: A Scoping Review of Health Effects on Humans in Residential and Occupational Settings. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 354.

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