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Rev Med Chir Soc Med Nat Iasi. 2014 Jan-Mar;118(1):178-81.

The implications of hazardous waste neutralization on employees health: a case study.


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a lung disorder characterized by chronic inflammation of the respiratory tract after exposure to pollutants, causing the obstruction of small respiratory tracts and the destruction of lung parenchyma. These changes ultimately lead to a limitation of air flux. We investigate the association between professional exposure and the risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. This study presents the case of a non-smoker patient, aged 61, a mechanic locksmith by profession at a hospital in Mures County. He has been working with neutralization of medical waste for 13 years with exposure to pneumotropic and biological contaminants and to the overuse of osteoarticular apparatus, recently having been diagnosed with COPD after exposure to mixed powders and hospitalized at the occupational health clinic. Interruption of occupational exposure and establishment of treatment with topical corticotherapy has shown a significant improvement. Measurements of inhalable powder content in the work environment revealed that they exceed the allowed limit in case of neutralization of medical waste and there is an association between occupational exposure and increased risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Preventive methods should aim to reduce exposure at workplace.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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