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Occupational health assessment of resource recovery energy industries: municipal solid waste-to-solid fuel processing facilities.

Zerwas MA; Witner CR; Gidley MD; Freeman RE; Witham CL; Miao RM
SRI International, Menlo Park, California, 1979 Nov; :1-194
A survey of the solid waste to solid fuel processing industry, which was performed under contract to NIOSH, is reviewed. Background information on municipal solid waste (MSW) processing for the production of solid fuels is presented. A schematic drawing of energy recovery processes for MSW is presented. The various processing equipment utilized in MSW facilities is described based on design capacities, status, and outputs. Walk through surveys conducted in three solid waste to solid fuel facilities, two pilot facilities, and one mass burning facility are reviewed, together with health and safety hazards associated with various bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens, as well as heavy metals and toxic materials. Sampling and analytical methods for bacteria and viruses are discussed. The conversion process for solid waste to solid fuel is described, including receiving, conveyance, reduction, materials separation, fuel preparation, storage and retrieval, glass recovery operations, and dust control. The authors note that further research is needed for industrial hygiene, microbiological sampling and analysis, and evaluation of criteria documentation. They conclude that there are numerous potential occupational health hazards in this industry, including dust, noise, safety, fire and explosion, and microbiological hazards. Further research is recommended to quantify and characterize exposures, develop control recommendations, determine the need for control technology assessment, determine the feasibility of a cohort mortality study, and determine the utility of criteria documentation and standards development.
NIOSH-Contract; Contract-210-77-0031; Health-survey; Fuel-production; Environmental-hazards; Environmental-contamination; Waste-treatment; Industrial-equipment; Industrial-processes; Equipment-design; Heavy-metals; Toxic-materials; Bacteria; Pathogens; Analytical-methods; Sampling; Sampling-methods; Microorganisms; Hazardous-materials; Health-hazards
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SRI International, Menlo Park, California
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SRI International, Menlo Park, California
Page last reviewed: February 4, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division