Exposure to biological agents and related health effects in the waste management and wastewater treatment sectors


This discussion paper presents the findings of research into the risks posed to waste management and wastewater treatment workers by biological agents. Growing amounts of waste are generated in the EU, and workers in these sectors are often exposed to potentially harmful microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses and fungi. The discussion paper looks at the causes and health effects of such exposure, and examines how changes in waste management approaches are affecting the risks to which workers are exposed. Interviews with experts and focus groups with workers helped in gathering information on policy measures that could help in reducing the risks, including for groups of workers who are at particular risk.

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