IRSST - Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail

Air quality and respiratory health of workers in Québec peat processing plants equipped with dust control systems


Although peat bogs are one of Québec’s important natural resources, few scientific data exist on these workplaces, which employ approximately 700 people. These workers are exposed to high concentrations of microorganisms that could affect their respiratory health. The authors have identified the biological contaminants contained in the peat moss and their effects on health, and have evaluated the air quality in processing and packaging plants equipped with dust control systems, as well as the health status of the people working there. The results demonstrate that the levels of exposure to different contaminants most often exceed the permissible limits. For various reasons, the control systems at source do not maintain the dust emissions at acceptable levels. The report ends with a series of recommendations that could improve the working conditions of peat bog workers.

Additional Information

Type: Project
Number: 0099-0710
Status: Completed
Year of completion: 2004
  • Caroline Duchaine (Centre de recherche de l'IUCPQ)
  • Yvon Cormier (Centre de recherche de l'IUCPQ)
  • Anne Mériaux (Centre de recherche de l'IUCPQ)
  • Nicole Goyer (IRSST)
  • Yves Cloutier (IRSST)
  • Louis Lazure (IRSST)
  • Gaétane Racine-Bédard (Centre de recherche de l'IUCPQ)
  • Serge Simard (Centre de recherche de l'IUCPQ)