PMID: 11494345Aug 9, 2001

Health effects among employees in sewage treatment plants: A literature survey

American Journal of Industrial Medicine
Jörgen Thorn, E Kerekes


Over the years, there have been regular reports in the media of work-related symptoms among employees at sewage treatment plants. Concern has spread among employees over the lack of knowledge of risk agents' symptoms, and diseases in that environment. This paper reviews the investigations of health risks in employees working in the sewage treatment plants. A literature search was performed with the search terms; sewage, waste water, health effects, infection, and health hazards. Articles on health effects in relation to sewage were selected. Work in sewage water plants can involve exposure to different types of microorganisms and chemicals. The bacterial exposure is dominated by bacteria that naturally occur in nature. However, different bacteria and viruses that give rise to infections can be present in this environment and thus there exists a risk of infection, especially of hepatitis A. Investigations suggest that gastrointestinal tract symptoms are more common among employees at sewage treatment plants than among controls. Respiratory symptoms, fatigue, and headache have also been reported in several investigations. The cause of the symptoms is unknown, although certain data suggest that they are caused by inflammation. The...Continue Reading


May 7, 1977·Lancet·C S ClarkP S Gartside
Aug 1, 1992·The American Review of Respiratory Disease·O MichelR Sergysels
Jan 1, 1991·American Journal of Industrial Medicine·J Lafleur, J E Vena
Oct 1, 1989·The American Review of Respiratory Disease·R RylanderI M Helander
Jul 1, 1988·American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal·J R Nethercott, D L Holness
Jul 1, 1988·Archives of Environmental Health·A KrautP J Landrigan
Sep 1, 1987·Toxicology and Industrial Health·J M Scarlett-KranzD J Lisk
Dec 1, 1986·American Journal of Epidemiology·J M Scarlett-KranzD J Lisk
Dec 1, 1986·The Science of the Total Environment·J KangasH Savolainen
Jul 1, 1995·American Journal of Industrial Medicine·D B Richardson
Aug 1, 1995·Occupational and Environmental Medicine·G De SerresB Duval
Jan 1, 1995·Clinical and Experimental Allergy : Journal of the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology·O MichelR Sergysels
Aug 1, 1994·Epidemiology and Infection·B H HengG H Quek
Jan 1, 1994·American Journal of Industrial Medicine·E MelbostadKari Kulvik Heldal
May 1, 1993·American Journal of Industrial Medicine·E ZuskinE N Schachter
Jan 1, 1996·Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine·W KuoD Linz
Jun 1, 1996·European Journal of Epidemiology·P Cadilhac, F Roudot-Thoraval
Oct 1, 1996·Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health·L FriisC Edling
Jan 1, 1997·Occupational and Environmental Medicine·G De Serres, D Laliberté
Nov 14, 1997·American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine·O MichelR Sergysels
May 16, 1998·American Journal of Industrial Medicine·S A KhuderE A Schaub
Nov 4, 1998·Occupational Medicine·L FriisC Edling
Dec 16, 1998·Occupational and Environmental Medicine·R BrughaJ Parry
Jan 1, 1997·International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health·S L Baum, A J Suruda
Jul 8, 1999·European Journal of Epidemiology·O SchlosserM N Laurenceau
Aug 3, 1999·American Journal of Epidemiology·Y LermanS Ashkenazi
Aug 18, 1999·Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health·P GregersenH Madsen
Sep 3, 1999·Occupational and Environmental Medicine·R Rylander
Sep 29, 1999·Archives of Environmental Health·N Brautbar, N Navizadeh
Feb 1, 2000·Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine·D TroutA Krake
Feb 5, 2000·Occupational and Environmental Medicine·L FriisC Edling
Mar 29, 2000·Archives of Environmental Health·M LevinY Lerman
Aug 23, 2000·Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine·M WeldonL M Sehulster


Aug 2, 2002·Occupational and Environmental Medicine·Jörgen ThornR Rylander
Feb 22, 2012·International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health·Kari Kulvik HeldalDag G Ellingsen
Jan 16, 2007·Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene·Do Thuy TrangAnders Dalsgaard
Feb 11, 2012·Environmental Monitoring and Assessment·Juliana V TeixeiraRui A R Boaventura
Nov 27, 2009·Journal of Hazardous Materials·Hsueh Fen HungChih Chieh Chen
Apr 7, 2009·Water Research·Helvi Heinonen-TanskiJari Koivunen
Jun 6, 2013·Medical and Veterinary Entomology·A I SeldénO Hultgren
May 9, 2006·Water Research·Letizia FracchiaMaria Giovanna Martinotti
Jul 2, 2014·Environmental Research·Frédéric G MasclauxAnne Oppliger
Nov 6, 2009·International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health·Karolina DzamanDariusz Jurkiewicz
Aug 13, 2013·The Science of the Total Environment·Rachel E Rosenberg GoldsteinAmy R Sapkota
Apr 9, 2004·International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health·Jörgen Thorn, Lena Beijer
Jan 29, 2014·The Annals of Occupational Hygiene·Philippe DuquenneGuylaine Greff-Mirguet
Sep 28, 2019·Water Environment Research : a Research Publication of the Water Environment Federation·Mark W LeChevallierJacqueline MacDonald Gibson
Sep 24, 2020·International Journal of Environmental Health Research·Lorika S Beukes, Stefan Schmidt
Dec 25, 2015·International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health·Kari Kulvik HeldalDag G Ellingsen
Jun 20, 2006·The Annals of Occupational Hygiene·M J VisserD J J Heederik
Feb 5, 2009·International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health·M NasterlackA Zober
Apr 27, 2018·Der Hautarzt; Zeitschrift für Dermatologie, Venerologie, und verwandte Gebiete·V LangA Zink
Jul 18, 2018·International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health·Annalaura CarducciMarco Verani
Feb 10, 2006·American Journal of Epidemiology·Karen J WernliHarvey Checkoway
Jun 2, 2011·American Journal of Industrial Medicine·Anadergh Barbosa-BrancoIvan A Steenstra
Nov 13, 2007·Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine·Joung Ae LeePatrick T O'Shaughnessy
Jul 31, 2019·Journal of Cancer Prevention·Srmena Krstev, Anders Knutsson

Related Concepts

Cause of Death
Communicable Diseases
Malignant Neoplasms
Environmental Sludge
Safety, Occupational
Waste Management

Trending Feeds


Coronaviruses encompass a large family of viruses that cause the common cold as well as more serious diseases, such as the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19; formally known as 2019-nCoV). Coronaviruses can spread from animals to humans; symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties; in more severe cases, infection can lead to death. This feed covers recent research on COVID-19.

Neural Activity: Imaging

Imaging of neural activity in vivo has developed rapidly recently with the advancement of fluorescence microscopy, including new applications using miniaturized microscopes (miniscopes). This feed follows the progress in this growing field.

The Tendon Seed Network

Tendons are rich in the extracellular matrix and are abundant throughout the body providing essential roles including structure and mobility. The transcriptome of tendons is being compiled to understand the micro-anatomical functioning of tendons. Discover the latest research pertaining to the Tendon Seed Network here.

Myocardial Stunning

Myocardial stunning is a mechanical dysfunction that persists after reperfusion of previously ischemic tissue in the absence of irreversible damage including myocardial necrosis. Here is the latest research.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a disease characterized by unexplained disabling fatigue; the pathology of which is incompletely understood. Discover the latest research on chronic fatigue syndrome here.


Incretins are metabolic hormones that stimulate a decrease in glucose levels in the blood and they have been implicated in glycemic regulation in the remission phase of type 1 diabetes. Here is the latest research.

Chromatin Regulation and Circadian Clocks

The circadian clock plays an important role in regulating transcriptional dynamics through changes in chromatin folding and remodelling. Discover the latest research on Chromatin Regulation and Circadian Clocks here.

Long COVID-19

“Long Covid-19” describes illness in patients who are reporting long-lasting effects of the SARS-CoV-19 infection, often long after they have recovered from acute Covid-19. Ongoing health issues often reported include low exercise tolerance and breathing difficulties, chronic tiredness, and mental health problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. This feed follows the latest research into Long Covid.

Spatio-Temporal Regulation of DNA Repair

DNA repair is a complex process regulated by several different classes of enzymes, including ligases, endonucleases, and polymerases. This feed focuses on the spatial and temporal regulation that accompanies DNA damage signaling and repair enzymes and processes.