Journal of Postgraduate Medicine
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Year : 2005  |  Volume : 51  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 98-103  

Arsenic burden survey among refuse incinerator workers

Chung-Liang Chao, KC Hwang 
 Taipei Hospital, Department of Health, Taiwan

Correspondence Address:
Chung-Liang Chao
Taipei Hospital, Department of Health

Background: Incinerator workers are not considered to have arsenic overexposure although they have the risk of overexposure to other heavy metals. Aim: To examine the relationship between arsenic burden and risk of occupational exposure in employees working at a municipal refuse incinerator by determining the concentrations of arsenic in the blood and urine. Settings and Design: The workers were divided into three groups based on their probability of contact with combustion-generated residues, namely Group 1: indirect contact, Group 2: direct contact and Group 3: no contact. Healthy age- and sex-matched residents living in the vicinity were enrolled as the control group. Materials and Methods: Heavy metal concentrations were measured by atomic absorption spectrophotometer. Downstream rivers and drinking water of the residents were examined for environmental arsenic pollution. A questionnaire survey concerning the contact history of arsenic was simultaneously conducted. Statistical analysis: Non-parametric tests, cross-tabulation and multinomial logistic regression. Results: This study recruited 122 incinerator workers. The urine and blood arsenic concentrations as well as incidences of overexposure were significantly higher in the workers than in control subjects. The workers who had indirect or no contact with combustion-generated residues had significantly higher blood arsenic level. Arsenic contact history could not explain the difference. Airborne and waterborne arsenic pollution were not detected. Conclusion: Incinerator workers run the risk of being exposed to arsenic pollution, especially those who have incomplete protection in the workplace even though they only have indirect or no contact with combustion-generated pollutants.

How to cite this article:
Chao CL, Hwang K C. Arsenic burden survey among refuse incinerator workers.J Postgrad Med 2005;51:98-103

How to cite this URL:
Chao CL, Hwang K C. Arsenic burden survey among refuse incinerator workers. J Postgrad Med [serial online] 2005 [cited 2023 Mar 27 ];51:98-103
Available from:;year=2005;volume=51;issue=2;spage=98;epage=103;aulast=Chao;type=0

Monday, March 27, 2023
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