California Residents Warned of Aspergillosis Risks from Composting Activities
In 1989, California enacted the Integrated Waste Management Act. It mandated solid waste diversions that also encouraged local governments to use composting to help them attain their diversion goals.
Shortly after its implementation, potential adverse health effects associated with airborne fungal spores, specifically Aspergillus fumigatus, were raised by some California residents who had concerns about composting facilities near their neighborhoods. In response, the California Integrated Waste Management Board now provides residents with a technical bulletin on this issue, titled: Aspergillus, Aspergillosis, and Composting Operations in California.
“Aspergillus fumigatus is often found in composting operations as it is an integral part of the composting process,” said Jason Dobranic, Ph.D., Vice President of Microbiology and Life Sciences at LA Testing and EMSL Analytical, Inc. “Aspergillus is commonly found in the environment and people may be exposed to low levels of the spores during the course of their daily lives. However, exposure to high levels of the spores and for people with a weakened immune system; it can create health concerns as it can cause allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA), invasive aspergillosis and other conditions.”
Not only can exposure to Aspergillus be a concern at composting facilities, it can also be found in indoor environments that have suffered from water damage and subsequent mold growth. The risk of exposure can be especially true during renovation or remodeling activities that could release high levels of Aspergillus into the air.
LA Testing provides the sampling tools and analytical services to identify this and other fungal pathogens. To learn more about this or other air quality and environmental issues, please visit www.LATesting.com, email info@LATesting.com or call (800) 755-1794.
About LA Testing
LA Testing is California’s leading laboratory for indoor air quality testing of asbestos, mold, lead, VOCs, formaldehyde, soot, char, ash and smoke damage, particulates and other chemicals. In addition, LA Testing offers a full range of air sampling and investigative equipment to professionals and the general public. LA Testing maintains an extensive list of accreditations including: AIHA LAP LLC., AIHA ELLAP, AIHA EMLAP and AIHA IHLAP, NVLAP, State of California, State of Hawaii Department of Health and other states. LA Testing, along with the EMSL Analytical, Inc. network, has multiple laboratories throughout California including South Pasadena, Garden Grove, San Leandro and San Diego.
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