LfU Bavarian Environment Agency

Augsburg, Germany

LfU Bavarian Environment Agency

Augsburg, Germany

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Walser S.M.,Bavarian Health and Food Safety Authority | Gerstner D.G.,Bavarian Health and Food Safety Authority | Brenner B.,Bavarian Health and Food Safety Authority | Bunger J.,Ruhr University Bochum | And 12 more authors.
International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health | Year: 2015

Studies suggest adverse health effects following exposure to bioaerosols in the environment and in particular at workplaces. However, there is still a lack of health-related exposure limits based on toxicological or epidemiological studies from environmental health or from the working environment. The aim of this study was to derive health-based exposure limits for bioaerosols that can protect the general population as group "at risk" via environmental exposure using analysis of peer-reviewed studies related to occupational medicine, indoor air and environmental health. The derivation of exposure limits should be conducted by the members of a bioaerosol expert panel according to established toxicological criteria. A systematic review was performed in Medline (PubMed) including studies containing both data on exposure measurements and observed health outcomes. In addition, literature recommended by the experts was considered. A comprehensive search strategy was generated and resulted in a total of n = 1569 studies in combination with the literature recommendations. Subsequently, abstracts were screened using defined exclusion criteria yielding a final number of n = 44 studies. A standardized extraction sheet was used to combine data on health effects and exposure to different bioaerosols. After full-text screening and extraction according to the defined exclusion criteria n = 20 studies were selected all related to occupational exposures comprising the working areas wood processing, farming, waste processing and others. These studies were analyzed in collaboration with the bioaerosol expert network in terms of suitability for derivation of health-related exposure limits. The bioaerosol expert network concluded that none of the analyzed studies provided suitable dose-response relationships for derivation of exposure limits. The main reasons were: (1) lack of studies with valid dose-response data; (2) diversity of employed measuring methods for microorganisms and bioaerosol-emitting facilities; (3) heterogeneity of health effects; (4) insufficient exposure assessment. However, several indicator parameters and exposure concentrations could be identified for different bioaerosol-emitting facilities. Nevertheless, health-related exposure limits are urgently needed especially in approval procedures of facilities like composting plants or livestock farms emitting bioaerosols in the neighbourhood of residents. In the regulatory toxicology framework, it is common to use animal experimental studies for derivation of general exposure limits if appropriate environmental epidemiological studies on harmful substances are lacking. This might be another possibility to obtain health-related exposure limits for specific bioaerosol parameters. Furthermore, we recommend to use suitable measurable outcome parameters related to bioaerosols; to measure bioaerosols according to a protocol representative for exposure pattern and duration at the particular work place; to develop standardized detection methods for indicator parameters; to combine different detection methods to compensate for the limitations of each method; to apply new analysis methods to identify the real risk potential. © 2015 Elsevier GmbH.


Gerstner D.,Bavarian Health and Food Safety Authority | Walser S.,Bavarian Health and Food Safety Authority | Brenner B.,Bavarian Health and Food Safety Authority | Bunger J.,Ruhr University Bochum | And 10 more authors.
Umweltmedizin in Forschung und Praxis | Year: 2013

Studies suggest adverse health effects as a result of exposure to bioaerosols in the environment and in particular at workplaces. However, there is still a lack of health-related guide values based on the knowledge gained from toxicological, environmental-medical or epidemiological studies. The project GABi (Gesundheitsbasierte Ableitungswerte Bioaerosole) is aimed on the development of health-related guide values for bioaerosols by the analysis of studies, investigations, and reports related to occupational medicine, indoor air and environmental health in collaboration with the Bioaerosol-Expert- Network. A systematic review is conducted in Medline including both studies containing data to exposure (aerosol measurements) and health effects in the same paper. In addition, literature recommended by the experts is considered. The development of guide values is conducted by the experts according to toxicological and allergological criteria. A comprehensive search strategy was generated and resulted in n = 1537 studies in Medline and in combination with the literature recommendations in n = 1565 after removal of duplicates. Subsequently, an abstract screening was conducted using defined exclusion criteria leading to a final number of n = 99 studies. Endotoxin and β-glucan studies (n = 45), but also children studies (n = 10) were postponed. A standardized extraction sheet for collection and correlation of health effects to exposure data of different bioaerosols was generated. The results of the literature review constitute the basis for the identification of key studies and the determination of doserelated health effects for relevant classes of microorganisms. The actual state of the study regarding evaluation is presented. © ecomed Medizin, Verlagsgruppe Hüthig Jehle Rehm GmbH, Landsberg.


PubMed | State Institute for the Environment, Institute for Occupational Safety and Health of the German Social Accident Insurance IFA, Bavarian Health and Food Safety Authority, Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich and 5 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: International journal of hygiene and environmental health | Year: 2015

Studies suggest adverse health effects following exposure to bioaerosols in the environment and in particular at workplaces. However, there is still a lack of health-related exposure limits based on toxicological or epidemiological studies from environmental health or from the working environment. The aim of this study was to derive health-based exposure limits for bioaerosols that can protect the general population as group at risk via environmental exposure using analysis of peer-reviewed studies related to occupational medicine, indoor air and environmental health. The derivation of exposure limits should be conducted by the members of a bioaerosol expert panel according to established toxicological criteria. A systematic review was performed in Medline (PubMed) including studies containing both data on exposure measurements and observed health outcomes. In addition, literature recommended by the experts was considered. A comprehensive search strategy was generated and resulted in a total of n=1569 studies in combination with the literature recommendations. Subsequently, abstracts were screened using defined exclusion criteria yielding a final number of n=44 studies. A standardized extraction sheet was used to combine data on health effects and exposure to different bioaerosols. After full-text screening and extraction according to the defined exclusion criteria n=20 studies were selected all related to occupational exposures comprising the working areas wood processing, farming, waste processing and others. These studies were analyzed in collaboration with the bioaerosol expert network in terms of suitability for derivation of health-related exposure limits. The bioaerosol expert network concluded that none of the analyzed studies provided suitable dose-response relationships for derivation of exposure limits. The main reasons were: (1) lack of studies with valid dose-response data; (2) diversity of employed measuring methods for microorganisms and bioaerosol-emitting facilities; (3) heterogeneity of health effects; (4) insufficient exposure assessment. However, several indicator parameters and exposure concentrations could be identified for different bioaerosol-emitting facilities. Nevertheless, health-related exposure limits are urgently needed especially in approval procedures of facilities like composting plants or livestock farms emitting bioaerosols in the neighbourhood of residents. In the regulatory toxicology framework, it is common to use animal experimental studies for derivation of general exposure limits if appropriate environmental epidemiological studies on harmful substances are lacking. This might be another possibility to obtain health-related exposure limits for specific bioaerosol parameters. Furthermore, we recommend to use suitable measurable outcome parameters related to bioaerosols; to measure bioaerosols according to a protocol representative for exposure pattern and duration at the particular work place; to develop standardized detection methods for indicator parameters; to combine different detection methods to compensate for the limitations of each method; to apply new analysis methods to identify the real risk potential.

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