Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2022 Jun 27. doi: 10.1007/s11356-022-21447-9. Online ahead of print.
Biological treatment in wastewater treatment plants releases high amounts of pathogenic bioaerosols. Quantitative microbial risk assessment is a framework commonly used for quantitative risk estimation for occupational exposure scenarios. However, the quantitative contributions of health-risk-estimate inputted parameters remain ambiguous. Therefore, this research aimed to study the disease burden of workers exposed to Staphylococcus aureus bioaerosol during warm and cold periods and strictly quantify the contributions of the inputted parameters by sensitivity analysis on the basis of Monte Carlo simulation. Results showed that the disease health risk burden of workers in the warm period was 1.15-6.11 times higher than that of workers in the cold period. The disease health risk burden of workers without personal protective equipment was 23.83-36.55 times higher than that of workers with personal protective equipment. Sensitivity analysis showed that exposure concentration and aerosol ingestion rate were the first and second predominant factors, respectively; the sensitivity partitioning coefficient of the former was 1.17-1.35 times the value of the latter. In addition, no remarkable differences were revealed in the sensitivity percentage ratio between warm and cold periods. The findings could contribute to the mitigation measures for the management of public health risks.
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