WIT Press


Investigation Of Workers Carrying Out Outdoor Activities In Environmentally Contaminated Areas

Price

Free (open access)

Paper DOI

10.2495/RISK100171

Volume

43

Pages

9

Page Range

183 - 191

Published

2010

Size

4134 kb

Author(s)

T. C. S. Nery

Abstract

Changes caused by industrial processes in the world today are factors of change across several environments, including soil, air, and water. Across the planet there are many areas identified as being contaminated. In the state of São Paulo- Brazil, there are more than 2,000 areas identified as contaminated by various chemicals. In the study and identification process of the impacts of these contaminated areas there are concerns with the populations which are directly exposed: workers of companies or residents. Workers with high levels of exposure or working in the maintenance of gas, water or sewer infrastructures, as well as in civil construction, are never considered. Thousands of workers throughout the world are involved in the described situations by conducting their activities without having information of the risks present in the soil or water, and consequently without the benefit of specific prevention. This study was conducted due to a concern in evaluating the health of workers in sanitation activities in the city of São Paulo, who work in areas identified as contaminated. This is a descriptive study where all contaminated areas were identified from the onset. Later, workers who carried out maintenance services for water and sewer were identified. Based upon the substances identified as contaminated, a medical service procedure was developed and additional tests were conducted. We evaluated 300 workers, who were subjected to laboratory tests and clinical examination after completion of specific procedures. The analyses are described where changes were found in AST, ALT and GGT. To conclude, it is necessary to identify risks arising from contaminated areas, evaluate the health of the workers exposed to these areas, and provide guidance on the risks that may be present in addition to the traditional risks associated with these occupations. Keywords: occupational health, environmental health, contaminated areas.

Keywords

occupational health, environmental health, contaminated areas