Chudnovets A. J., Sterenbogen M. Y.
BIOLOGICAL FACTORS IN PRODUCTION OF BIOFUEL FROM WASTE OF AGRICULTURAL RAW MATERIALS AS A HYGIENIC PROBLEM
State Institution "Institute for Occupational Health of the National Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine", Kyiv
Full article (PDF), UKR
Introduction. Today, Ukraine is in a great need of providing alternative sources of energy. So, the branch of solid biofuel is actively developing in recent years. Scientific studies on this problem abroad are focused mainly at improving technologies of receiving biofuel and assessing its quality. We study hygienic aspects of work conditions of individuals, engaged in production of biofuel from waste plant materials at all technological stages, in order to define a role of biological factors as a risk factor for workers’ health.
Materials and methods of research. An analytical review of scientific publications has been made, using specific foreign publications, textual databases of PUB MED, databases of the National Scientific Medical Library and the National Library of Ukraine named after V. I. Vernadsky.
Results. In the process of production of biofuels from wood waste and straw workers are exposed to the combined action of a multi-component aerosol, consisting of organic vegetable particles, inorganic parts (soil and sand) and chemicals (alkaloids, saponins, resins, essential oils, glycosides). It is established that the total concentrations of dust at workplace depends on the production technology, types of equipment, type and quality of the processed raw materials. When performing main technological operations, accompanied by a considerable dust formation, exceeding the TLV for dust has been recorded. These factors cause a lung function decrease, bronchial hypersensitivity and respiratory diseases, such as: organic toxic dust syndrome, allergic alveolitis, asthma, chronic airway obstruction, chronic bronchitis syndrome, irritation of the mucosa membrane and rhinitis. When processing wood: spruce, pine, lime, birch, maple, beech, oak, workers are suffered from allergic reactions, followed by bleeding from the nose, weakness, loss of appetite, vomiting, skin diseases, etc. A microbial factor is particularly important, acting on the workers in production of biofuels from waste plant materials. The microbiological component consists of a wide number of bacteria, microscopic fungi and their metabolic products – endo- and mycotoxins. It was found that samples of straw were significantly more contaminated with bacteria than wood sawdust, wood pellets and briquettes; concentrations of endotoxins in the straw were significantly higher than in other types of materials. The increase ranged from 2 to 50 times, and in some cases, reached 100 times. The concentrations of microscopic fungi in straw were also significantly higher than in other raw materials. High concentrations of fungi and endotoxins were recorded in straw mechanical processing. In wood dust and straw there were also found microscopic fungi and mycotoxins, which could cause infectious, allergenic and carcinogenic effects.
Conclusion. When producing biofuels from wood waste and straw, workers can be exposed to a combined action of multi aerosol, which can compose of organic vegetable particles of inorganic parts (particles of soil and sand) and chemicals (alkaloids, saponins, resins, essential oils, glycosides ). It was found that dust concentrations at workplace depened on production technologies, types of equipment, type and quality of the processed raw materials. When performing main technological operations, accompanied by the considerable dust formation, exceeding the TLV for dust is recorded, followed by a significant increase of the dust formation (in loading, cracking, packing). The microbial factor is particularly important, acting on workers in production of biofuels from the waste plant materials. Its composition is closely related on production factors and depends on the general level of dust as well as on physical and chemical factors. The microbiological component consists of a great number of bacteria, microscopic fungi and their metabolic products – endo- and mycotoxins, which can cause a negative effect on the health of workers. The effect of the above – mentioned factors can be considered as a potential risk factor in occurrence of work-related and occupational diseases for employees of enterprises, producing biofuels from vegetable raw materials.
Key words: occupational health, biofuel, straw, wood saw dust, organic dust, microorganisms, effect on health
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