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Bacteria, fungi and endotoxin in stored timber logs and airborne sawdust in Poland.

Biodeterioration Research 2: General Biodeterioration, Degradation, Mycotoxins, Biotoxins, and Wood Decay. O'Rear CE, Llewellyn GC, eds., New York: Plenum Press, 1989 Jul; 2:533-547
A study of potential biohazards in the Polish wood industry was conducted. Wood samples were obtained from 12 logs of white-warty- birch, European-hornbeam, European-alder, or Scots-pine that had been stored for approximately 9 months at a sawmill at Zalesie, Poland and five logs of Scots-pine stored for 1 to 8 months at a sawmill at Bedlno, Poland. The samples were assayed for their bacterial, fungal, and endotoxin content. Air samples were collected at three sawmills, a fiberboard factory, and a chipboard factory and were analyzed for bacteria, fungi, and endotoxins. Bacterial and fungi concentrations in the stored woods ranged from 0 to 10(9) and 0 to 10(7) colony forming units per gram (CFU/g), respectively. In wood samples from the Zalesi mill, gram positive bacteria were the most common microorganism found, followed by fungi and gram negative bacteria in that order. In wood samples from the Bedlno sawmill gram negative bacteria occurred in the largest amount. The highest concentrations, 10(8) to 10(9)CFU/g, were found in logs soaked with resin. Across all samples Enterobacter species were the most common gram negative bacteria found. Corynebacterium, Arthrobacteria, Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, and Micrococcus were the most common gram positive bacteria. Sporotrichum-chlorinum, Trichoderma-viride, and Penicillium species were the most common fungi. Endotoxin concentrations in the wood samples ranged up to 2000.0 micrograms (microg) per gram and were significantly correlated with the gram negative bacteria concentrations. Air bacteria and fungi concentrations in the sawmills and wood processing facilities generally ranged up to 10(2) to 10(4)CFU per cubic meter. Airborne endotoxin concentrations typically varied from 0.24 to 40.0microg per cubic meter. The highest bacteria, fungi, and endotoxin concentrations generally occurred in the fiberboard and chipboard factories. The author concludes that processing of wood in mid European climatic conditions can be associated with significant exposures to bacteria, fungi, and endotoxins that frequently exceed the safe levels recommended for farm dusts.
Microorganisms; Occupational-exposure; Wood-dusts; Industrial-hygiene; Occupational-hazards; Lumber-industry; Wood-products; Toxins; Sawmill-workers
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O'Rear-CE; Llewellyn-GC
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Biodeterioration Research 2: General Biodeterioration, Degradation, Mycotoxins, Biotoxins, and Wood Decay