Factors promoting the exposure to bioaerosols among crop workers


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Actes de conférence (partie): contribution originale à la littérature scientifique, publiée à l'occasion de conférences scientifiques, dans un ouvrage de compte-rendu (proceedings), ou dans l'édition spéciale d'un journal reconnu (conference proceedings).
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Factors promoting the exposure to bioaerosols among crop workers
Titre de la conférence
6th International Scientific Conference on Bioaerosols, Fungi, Bacteria, Mycotoxins in Indoor and Outdoor Environments and Human Health, September 6 - 9, 2011, Saratoga Springs, New York, USA
Niculita-Hirzel Hélène, Oppliger Anne
Fungal Research Group Foundation
Albany, N.Y.
Statut éditorial
Date de publication
Type de document : Meeting Abstracts SAPHIRID:90179
Introduction. Agricultural workers are among the professional groups most at risk of developing acute or chronic respiratory problems. Despite this fact, the etiology of these occupational diseases is poorly known, even in important sectors of agriculture such as the crops sector. Cereals can be colonized by a large number of fungal species throughout the plants' growth, but also during grain storage. Some of these fungi deliver toxins that can have a serious impact on human health when they are ingested via wheat products. Although International and European legislation on contaminants in food, including mycotoxins, include measures to ensure protection of public health by setting down the maximum levels for certain contaminants, the risks associated with the inhalation of such molecules during grain handling remains poorly documented.
Goal of study. This project's objective was to characterize worker exposure to pathogenic, irritative or allergenic microorganisms and to identify the abiotic or biotic factors that reduce the growth of these microorganisms in crops. Indeed, the proliferation of microorganisms on wheat is dependent on temperature, rainfall and human disturbance (e.g. usage of tillage, addition of fungicides). A change in the concentration of these microorganisms in the substrate will directly result in a change in the concentration of aerosolized particles of the same microorganisms. Therefore, the exposure of worker to bioaérosols will also change. The Vaud region of Switzerland is a perfect region for conduct such a project as weather conditions vary and agricultural land management programs are divers at a small geographic scale.
Methods. Bioaerosols and wheat dust have been sampled during wheat harvesting of summer 2010 at 100 sites uniformly distributed in the Vaud region that are representative of the different agriculture practices. Personal exposure has been evaluated for different wheat related activities: harvesting, grain unload, baling straw, the cleaning of harvesters and silos. Aerosols have been sampled at a rate of 2L/min between 15 min to 4 hours (t) on a 5m PVC filter for estimating the total dust inhaled, on gelatine filter for the identification and quantification of molds, and on a 0.45um polycarbonate filter for endotoxin quantification. Altitude, temperature and annual average rainfall were considered for each site. The physical and chemical characteristics of soils were determined using the methods in effect at Sol Council (Nyon). Total dust has been quantified following NIOSH 0500 method. Reactive endotoxine activity has been determined with Limulus Amebocyte Lysate Assay. All molds have been identified by the pyrosequencing of ITS2 amplicons generated from bioaerosol or wheat dust genomic DNA.
Results & Conclusions. Our results confirm the previous quantitative data on the worker exposure to wheat dust. In addition, they show that crop workers are systematically exposed to complex mixtures of allergens, irritants or cytotoxic components. The novelty of our study is the systematic detection of molds such as Fusarium - that is a mycotoxins producer - in the bioaerosols. The results are interpreted by taking in account the agriculture practice, the Phosphorus : Carbon : Nitrogen ratio of the soil, the altitude and the average of rainy days per year.
Endotoxins , Agricultural Workers' Diseases , Occupational Exposure
Création de la notice
27/02/2012 15:55
Dernière modification de la notice
20/08/2019 14:50
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