Occupational Exposures and Associated Health Effects among Dumpsite Workers

A Case Study of Kany Qrzhala Landfill Site, Erbil, Iraq

  • Tanya S. Salih Department of General Biology, Cihan University-Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq
  • Ameena S. M. Juma Department of General Biology, Cihan University-Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq
  • Muhsin H. Ubeid Department of General Biology, Cihan University-Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq
Keywords: IgE and Allergy, Immunological factors, Dumpsite workers, Complete Blood Count, Syphilis and Hematological factors


Eighty-nine male workers from the landfill site in (Kany Qrzhala), Erbil, Iraq, aged from 12-65 years were investigated in this study. Each one had filled out a questionnaire sheet. Plus, a 7 ml of venous blood samples were collected from them. Total IgE and Syphilis antibodies were detected. Thus, CBC was conducted on each sample. The results recorded 92.13% of the workers lived in rural areas, while 7.87% lived in urban areas. Further, there were 58.43% smokers and 41.57% non-smokers. Furthermore, the research sample contained 38.20% single, and 61.80% married people. As education illustrated, 37.08% had no schooling, primary school education 40.45%, less than 20% had secondary school education, 2.25% acquired a diploma, and a B.Sc. degree. The serum concentration of total IgE of dumpsite workers revealed a significant increase when compared to the healthy group. None of the workers' sera revealed Syphilis antibodies except one case which was positive; however, it shows non-significant difference between both groups. WBC count was soared significantly in dumpsite workers when compared to the healthy individuals, yet, lymphocyte and granulocyte numbers showed non-significant increment, while monocyte number showed an insignificant rise in workers as compared to healthy group. The number of RBC's and Hb level of the Landfill workers exhibited a substantial increase. Even though, both groups' platelets did not show significant variance. The rise in WBC counts and IgE levels may be due to the exposure of these workers to allergens at the dumpsites as for allergies are the common consequence when exposed to waste and garbage.


Download data is not yet available.


F. P. Sankoh, X. Yan and Q. Tran. Environmental and health impact of solid waste disposal in developing cities:A case study of Granville brook dumpsite, Freetown, Sierra Leone. Journal of Environmental Protection, vol. 4, NO. 7, pp. 665-670, 2013.

S. Abul. Environmental and health impact of solid waste disposal at Mangwaneni dumpsite in Manzini: Swaziland. The Journal of Sustainable Development in Africa, vol. 12, no. 7, pp. 64-78, 2010.

N. P. Thanh, Y. Matsui and T. Fujiwara. Assessment of plastic waste generation and its potential recycling of household solid waste in Can Tho City, Vietnam. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, vol. 175, no. 1, pp. 23-35, 2011.

H. Issever, H. Gul, M. Erelel, F. Erkan and G. Y. Gungor. Health problems of garbage collectors in Istanbul. Indoor and Built Environment, vol. 11, no. 5, pp. 293-301, 2002.

P. O. Njoku, J. N. Edokpayi and J. O. Odiyo. Health and environmental risks of residents living close to a landfill:A case study of Thohoyandou Landfill, Limpopo Province, South Africa. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, vol. 16, no.12, p. 2125, 2019.

M. R. Ray, S. Roychoudhury, G. Mukherjee, S. Roy and T. Lahiri. Respiratory and general health impairments of workers employed in a municipal solid waste disposal at an open landfill site in Delhi. International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, vol. 208, no. 4, pp. 255-262, 2005.

R. Maheshwari, S. Gupta and K. Das. Impact of landfill waste on health: An overview. IOSR Journal of Environmental Science, Toxicology and Food Technology, vol. 1, no.4, pp. 17-23, 2015.

F. Oviasogie and D Agbonlahor. The burden, antibiogram and pathogenicity of bacteria found in municipal waste dumpsites and on waste site workers in Benin City. The Journal of Medicine and Biomedical Research, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 115-130, 2013.

F. E. Oviasogie, C. U. Ajuzie and U. G. Ighodaro. Bacterial analysis of soil from waste dumpsite. Archives of Applied Science Research, vol. 2, no. 5, pp. 161-167, 2010.

G. F. Akpeimeh. Bioaerosol Emission from MSW Open Dumpsites and The Impact on Exposure and Associated Health Risks. Leeds, England: University of Leeds, 2019.

M. Medina. Solid Wastes, Poverty and the Environment in Developing Country Cities: Challenges and Opportunities. WIDER Working Paper, 2010.

A. Jorgensen. Diseases Caused by Improper Waste Disposal. Geneva: World Health Organization, 2007.

A. S. Juma, M. H. Ubeid and T. S. Salih. Anti-toxoplasma, anti-rubella, and anti-cytomegalovirus antibodies in dumpsite workers of Erbil Governorate. Cihan University-Erbil Scientific Journal, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 85-89, 2019.

A. Mavropoulos and D. Newman. Wasted Health The Tragic Case of Dumpsites. Vienna: International Solid Waste Association, 2015.

T. S. Salih, S. S. Haydar, M. H. Ubeid and A. S. Juma. Some immunological and hematological parameters among refugees in Kawergosk Camp-Erbil governorate. Cihan University- Erbil Scientific Journal, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 80-84, 2019.

R. R. Tiwari. Occupational health hazards in sewage and sanitary workers. Indian Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, vol. 12, no. 3, p. 112, 2008.

D. Ogundele, V. Olayemi, F. Folaranmi, O. Oludele and A. Oladejo. Haematological, liver function parameters and heavy metal assessment of KWMC workers at roadside and mixed waste dumpsites in Kwara state, Nigeria. Journal of Applied Sciences and Environmental Management, vol. 23, no. 7, pp. 1213-1219, 2019.

E. T. Bope and R. E. Rakel. Conn’s Current Therapy. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders, 2002.

D. T. Win. Chemical allergies/chemical sensitivities. AU Journal of Technologies, vol. 12, no. 4, pp. 245-250, 2009.

J. Douwes, H. Dubbeld, L. Van Zwieten, I. Wouters, G. Doekes, D. Heederik and P. Steerenberg, work related acute and (sub-) chronic airways inflammation assessed by nasal lavage in compost workers. The Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 149-152, 1997.

R. Z. Morsi, R. Safa, S. F. Baroud, C. N. Fawaz, J. I. Farha, F. El-Jardali and M. Chaaya. The protracted waste crisis and physical health of workers in Beirut:A comparative cross-sectional study. Environmental Health, vol. 16, no. 1, p. 39, 2017.

B. Majkowska-Wojciechowska and M. L. Kowalski. Allergens, air pollutants and immune system function in the era of global warming. In: Air Pollution-monitoring, Modelling, Health and Control Rijeka. London: InTech, pp. 221-254, 2012.

J. A. Cimino and R. Mamtani. Occupational hazards for New York city sanitation workers. Environmental Health, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 8-12, 1987.

J. Lavoie, C. J. Dunkerley, T. Kosatsky and A. Dufresne. Exposure to aerosolized bacteria and fungi among collectors of commercial, mixed residential, recyclable and compostable waste. Science of the Total Environment, vol. 370, no. 1, pp. 23-28, 2006.

I. M. Wouters, S. Spaan, J. Douwes, G. Doekes and D. Heederik. Overview of personal occupational exposure levels to inhalable dust, endotoxin, P (1^3)-glucan and fungal extracellular polysaccharides in the waste management chain. Annals of Occupational Hygiene, vol. 50, no. 1, pp. 39-53, 2006.

S. Widmeier, A. Bernard, A. Tschopp, S. Jeggli, X. Dumont, S. Hilfiker, A. Oppliger and P. Hotz. Surfactant protein A, exposure to endotoxin, and asthma in garbage collectors and in wastewater workers. Inhalation Toxicology, vol. 19, no. 4, pp. 351-360, 2007.

C. Y. Yang, W. T. Chang, H. Y. Chuang, S. S. Tsai, T. N. Wu and F. C. Sung. Adverse health effects among household waste collectors in Taiwan. Environmental Research, vol. 85, no. 3, pp. 195-199, 2001.

K. KHeldal, A. Halstensen, J. Thorn, W. Eduard and T. Halstensen. Airway inflammation in waste handlers exposed to bioaerosols assessed by induced sputum. European Respiratory Journal, vol. 21, no. 4, pp. 641-645, 2003.

G. de Meer, D. Heederik and I. M. Wouters. Change in airway responsiveness over a workweek in organic waste loaders. International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, vol. 80, no. 7, pp. 649-652, 2007.

M. R. Ray, S. Roychoudhury, S. Mukherjee S, S. Siddique, M. Banerjee, A. B. Akolkar, B. Sengupta and T. Lahiri. Airway inflammation and upregulation of P2 Mac-1 integrin expression on circulating leukocytes of female Ragpickers in India. Journal of Occupational Health, vol. 51, no. 3, 2009, pp. 232-238.

G. Dounias and G. Rachiotis. Prevalence of hepatitis A virus infection among municipal solid-waste workers. International Journal of Clinical Practice, vol. 60, no. 11, 2006, pp. 1432-1436.

M. A. Rozman, I. S. Alves, M. A. Porto, P. O. Gomes, N. M. Ribeiro, L. A. Nogueira, M. M, Caseiro, V. A. da Silva, E. Massad and M. N. Burattini. HIV and related infections in a sample of recyclable waste collectors of Brazil. International Journal of STD and AIDS. vol. 18, no. 9, 2007, pp. 653-654.

P. Luksamijarulkul, D. Sujirarat and P. Charupoonphol. Risk behaviors, occupational risk and seroprevalence of hepatitis B and A infection among public cleansing workers of Bangkok Metropolis. Hepatitis Monthly, vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 35-40, 2008.

A. Tinti. Available from: https://www.ejatlas.org/conflict/dump-site-in-sulaymaniyah-kurdistan-region-of-iraq.

E. Fitt. Life on the Kani Qirzhala Landfill Site in Iraq, 2017. Available from: https://www.recyclingwasteworld.co.uk/in-depth-article/life-on-the-kani-qirzhala-landfill-site-in-iraq/164658.

S. Q. Gardi. Environmental Impact Assessment of Erbil Dumpsite Area West of Erbil City-Iraqi Kurdistan Region, 2018 Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/324262622environmentalimpactassessmentof_erbil_dump

How to Cite
Salih T, Juma A, Ubeid M. Occupational Exposures and Associated Health Effects among Dumpsite Workers. cuesj [Internet]. 10Aug.2021 [cited 16Jun.2024];5(2):1-. Available from: https://journals.cihanuniversity.edu.iq/index.php/cuesj/article/view/400
Research Article

Most read articles by the same author(s)