266681 Living and working in a landfill in Eastern Indonesia

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Tomoyuki Shibata, PhD , Public Health Program, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL
Lindsey Watson, MPH (candidate) , Public Health Program, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL
Ansariadi Ansariadi, Ph.D. , School of Public Health, Hasanuddin University, Makassar, Indonesia
Riana Nugrahani, PhD , School of Public Health, Hasanuddin University, Makassar, Indonesia
James L. Wilson, Ph.D. , Department of Geography, Institute for the Study of the Environment, Sustainability, and Energy, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL
There are many low income families who live next to landfills in developing countries, where they scavenge and sell discarded materials to support their families. To date, documentation of recyclers' living and working conditions has been limited. The objective of this study is to evaluate environmental and occupational health conditions in landfill workers in Makassar, the largest city in Eastern Indonesia. Survey questionnaires have been collected (n = 100) from individuals (≥ 18 years old) who live in a small community next to Makassar's sole legitimate landfill. Biological and chemical contamination levels in solid wastes and ground have been measured in the landfill. Fecal indicator bacteria, (e.g. Escherichia coli 14 CFU/cm2) and toxic chemicals (e.g. arsenic 36 mg/kg and lead 777 mg/kg) have been detected in the working environment. The survey shows the median monthly household income to be Rp 1,000,000 (approximately $111). Only 4% of workers were wearing masks, 6% gloves, and 59% closed toe shoes. Workers ate food (41%), ingested beverage (64%) and smoked (76% among smokers) while at work in the landfill. The survey also showed that 14% of workers' children (<12 years old) worked in the landfill. We observed many minimally supervised young children present at the landfill, while their parents and older siblings were working. Three percent of children in this community had diarrhea two weeks prior to the survey. This study has shown that landfill workers and their family members, including young children were possibly exposed to several environmental hazards that affect their health.

Learning Areas:
Environmental health sciences
Occupational health and safety

Learning Objectives:
Evaluate environmental and occupational health conditions in landfill workers, including women and children, in Indonesia

Keywords: Workplace Safety, Children's Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have approximately 20 years of combined professional and research experience in the interdisciplinary fields of Environmental and Public Health, and Environmental Engineering. I have been investigating environmental health issues in Indonesia with collaborators in the US and Indonesia since 2010.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.