Bibliography Detail

Title : Formaldehyde: A chemical of concern in the vicinity of MBT plants of municipal solid waste
Subject : Municiple Solid Waste Treatment
Issue No. : 133
Author Name : Lolita Vilaverta, María J. Figuerasb, Marta Schuhmachera, c, Martí Nadala, José L. Domingoa
Year : 2014
Pages : 27–35
Description :

The mechanical–biological treatment (MBT) of municipal solid waste (MSW) has a number of advantages in comparison to other MSW management possibilities. However, adverse health effects related to this practice are not well known yet, as a varied typology of microbiological and chemical agents may be generated and released. In 2010, we initiated an environmental monitoring program to control air levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and microbiological pollutants near an MBT plant in Montcada i Reixac (Catalonia, Spain). In order to assess any temporal and seasonal trends, four 6-monthly campaigns were performed. Important fluctuations were observed in the levels of different biological indicators (total and Gram-negative bacteria, fungi grown at 25 °C and 37 °C, and more specifically, Aspergillus fumigatus). Although overall bioaerosols concentrations were rather low, a certain increase in the mean values of bacteria and fungi was observed in summer. In contrast, higher concentrations of VOCs were found in winter, with the only exception of formaldehyde. Interestingly, although this compound was not detected in one of the sampling campaigns, current airborne levels of formaldehyde were higher than those previously reported in urban areas across Europe. Furthermore, the non-carcinogenic risks (Hazard Quotient), particularly in winter, as well as the cancer risks associated with the inhalation of VOCs, exceeded the threshold values (1 and 10−5, respectively), reaffirming the need of continuing with the monitoring program, with special emphasis on formaldehyde, a carcinogenic/mutagenic substance.