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Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment for Workers Exposed to Bioaerosol in Wastewater Treatment Plants Aimed at the Choice and Setup of Safety Measures

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Laboratory of Hygiene and Environmental Virology, Department of Biology, University of Pisa, Via S. Zeno 35/39, 56127 Pisa, Italy
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Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa, Piazza dei Cavalieri 7, 56126 Pisa, Italy
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Department of Technology Innovations, Research, and Certification Sector—INAIL, Research Centre—Via Fontana Candida 1, 00040 Monte Porzio Catone (Rm), Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(7), 1490; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15071490
Received: 24 April 2018 / Revised: 21 June 2018 / Accepted: 12 July 2018 / Published: 14 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Occupational Safety and Health)
Biological risk assessment in occupational settings currently is based on either qualitative or semiquantitative analysis. In this study, a quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) has been applied to estimate the human adenovirus (HAdV) health risk due to bioaerosol exposure in a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). A stochastic QMRA model was developed considering HAdV as the index pathogen, using its concentrations in different areas and published dose–response relationship for inhalation. A sensitivity analysis was employed to examine the impact of input parameters on health risk. The QMRA estimated a higher average risk in sewage influent and biological oxidation tanks (15.64% and 12.73% for an exposure of 3 min). Sensitivity analysis indicated HAdV concentration as a predominant factor in the estimated risk. QMRA results were used to calculate the exposure limits considering four different risk levels (one illness case per 100, 1.000, 10.000, and 100.000 workers): for 3 min exposures, we obtained 565, 170, 54, and 6 GC/m3 of HAdV. We also calculated the maximum time of exposure for each level for different areas. Our findings can be useful to better define the effectiveness of control measures, which would thus reduce the virus concentration or the exposure time. View Full-Text
Keywords: human adenovirus; quantitative microbial risk assessment; wastewater treatment plants human adenovirus; quantitative microbial risk assessment; wastewater treatment plants
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Carducci, A.; Donzelli, G.; Cioni, L.; Federigi, I.; Lombardi, R.; Verani, M. Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment for Workers Exposed to Bioaerosol in Wastewater Treatment Plants Aimed at the Choice and Setup of Safety Measures. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 1490.

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