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Arch Environ Occup Health. 2007 Spring;62(1):5-11. doi: 10.3200/AEOH.62.1.5-11.

Health survey of residents living near farm fields permitted to receive biosolids.

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Department of Public Health & Homeland Security, Health Science Campus, University of Toledo, OH 43614, USA.


The authors studied the health status of residents living in Wood County, OH, near farm fields that were permitted to receive biosolids. They mailed a health survey to 607 households and received completed surveys from 437 people exposed to biosolids (living on or within 1 mile of the fields where application was permitted) and from 176 people not exposed to biosolids (living more than 1 mile from the fields where application was permitted). The authors allowed for up to 6 surveys per household. Results revealed that some reported health-related symptoms were statistically significantly elevated among the exposed residents, including excessive secretion of tears, abdominal bloating, jaundice, skin ulcer, dehydration, weight loss, and general weakness. The frequency of reported occurrence of bronchitis, upper respiratory infection, and giardiasis were also statistically significantly elevated. The findings suggest an increased risk for certain respiratory, gastrointestinal, and other diseases among residents living near farm fields on which the use of biosolids was permitted. However, further studies are needed to address the limitations cited in this study.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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