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

Evaluation of bioaerosols and gaseous compounds in agri-food and residential organic waste composting


Sustainable development policies implemented by the federal and Quebec governments have promoted the growth of the composting industry. The large quantities of waste handled at various stages of composting generate bioaerosols and gases. Industry workers may be exposed to potentially toxic, infectious, allergenic or even carcinogenic gases.

The purpose of this study is to compare concentrations of contaminants found in the ambient air of three composting sites for different kinds of organic waste (household waste, manure and slaughterhouse residues) in order to assess the related health risks.
In addition to providing a better description of the exposure of workers in the composting industry to gases, micro-organismes and moulds considered infectious or allergenic, the findings should be useful for establishing recommendations on reducing or eliminating risks associated with working in organic waste composting plants.

Additional Information

Type: Project
Number: 2012-0029
Status: Completed
Year of completion: 2017
  • Geneviève Marchand (IRSST)
  • Yves Cloutier (IRSST)
  • Jacques Lavoie (IRSST)
  • Caroline Duchaine (Centre de recherche Institut universitaire de cardiologie et de pneumologie de Québec)
  • Yves Bernard (Centre de recherche industrielle du Québec)