Health disorders among Egyptian municipal solid waste workers and assessment of their knowledge, attitude, and practice towards the hazardous exposure


Solid waste workers are exposed to variety of injuries and diseases at work. To study health disorders among workers in the waste management field and to assess their knowledge attitude and practice (KAP) towards hazardous exposure and safety measures. A cross-sectional study was carried out on 275 waste workers and an equal number as a group of controls from workers’ relatives or workers not involved in waste management. Workers completed a self-administered or interviewer-based questionnaire containing data about (i) knowledge, e.g., management of wastes, types of hazards associated with solid waste management, and safety measures; (ii) attitude, e.g., opinions about mode of transmission of infection and safety measures; and (iii) practice, e.g., available safety measures to prevent exposure to hazards. Health education sessions were carried out with pre- and post-assessment of KAP. Both groups were assessed regarding the health status through history, general, and local examination (respiratory system and skin) in addition to spirometric measurements and complete blood count. A total of 275 exposed solid waste workers and 275 controls were included. A significantly higher prevalence of symptoms regarding respiratory, gastrointestinal, renal, musculoskeletal, and dermatological systems were detected among the exposed group than the controls (P<0.05). Significantly lower levels of RBCs, Hb, HCT, and MCH were reported among the exposed group than the controls (P<0.05). Among the exposed group vs. controls, FEV1 reported 99.75±13.35 vs. 104.83±10.47 (P<0.001), FEV1/FVC% reported 98.88±15.32 vs. 102.72±14.36 (P=0.003), FEF25-75% reported 99.64±17.06 vs. 103.07±19.38 (P=0.029), and PEF% reported 58.73±16.31 vs. 62.12±12.91 (P=0.007). Unsatisfactory knowledge was reported among 64% of solid waste workers, 69.1% had negative attitude, and 73.8% had unsafe practice. KAP was significantly higher post than pre-health education (P<0.001). Respiratory, gastrointestinal, and skin infections were common among solid waste workers. Assessment of KAP towards management of wastes, transmission of infection, exposure to sharps, and safety measures showed poor levels that got improved after health education. To maintain good health among solid waste workers, direct supervision with periodic medical examination and focused continuous health education are required.

Authors: Zeinab A Kasemy, Diane S Rohlman, Asmaa A Abdel Latif
; Full Source: Environmental science and pollution research international 2021 Feb 16. doi: 10.1007/s11356-021-12856-3.