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Removal of 60 tons of manure from a building: protecting workers at risk.

Lenhart SW; Schafer M
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 9-15, 1998, Atlanta, Georgia. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 1998 May; :32
An accumulation of pigeon manure was removed from the twelfth floor of a prison's administration building before removal of an empty 150,000-gallon water tank and the building's demolition. Sixty tons of manure were removed using a long, flexible hose connected to a trailer-mounted, industrial vacuum system. Removal workers wore full-facepiece, powered air-purifying respirators and disposable coveralls, gloves, and shoe coverings. Twelve manure samples were collected outside the water tank, 8 were collected inside the tank, and 5 soil samples were collected near the building's foundation. Using standard fungal culturing methods, each sample was analyzed for three potentially infectious microorganisms: Blastomyces dermatitidis Cryptococcus neoformans, and Histoplasma capsulatum. A handheld aerosol monitor was used to measure air concentrations of dust aerosolized during manure removal. Air sampling was also conducted near the vacuum equipment and waste hopper and in a parking lot to estimate background dust concentrations. C. neoformans was recovered from 4 of 12 manure samples collected outside the water tank and from 7 of 8 samples collected inside the tank. No sample was found to contain H. capsulatum or B. dermatitidis. During most removal activities, airborne dust concentrations ranged from 0.8 to 1.5 mg/ m3. Airborne dust increased to 3.0 mg/m3 during dry shoveling, and to greater than 20 mg/m3 during a brief period of dry sweeping. Airborne dust concentrations near the waste hopper and in the parking lot were 0.03 mg/m3. C. neoformans causes cryptococcosis and is often found in bird manure accumulations. Formerly a rare infectious disease, the incidence of cryptococcosis has increased because of its frequent occurrence among HIV-infected persons. Recovery of C. neoformans from manure samples and dusty working conditions suggested that the exposure precautions taken by removal workers were necessary.
Hazardous-materials; Hazardous-waste-cleanup; Waste-disposal; Waste-treatment; Safety-equipment; Safety-measures; Infection-control; Microorganisms; Infectious-diseases; Fungal-diseases; Fungi; Fungal-infections; Animals; Worker-health; Personal-protective-equipment; Workplace-monitoring; Air-quality-monitoring; Air-sampling; Vacuum-cleaning-systems; Vacuum-equipment; Soil-sampling
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American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 9-15, 1998, Atlanta, Georgia
Page last reviewed: April 1, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division