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[greenyes] SARS
Clearly, we ought not overreact to what is, at present, primarily an
imminent concern in Asia, but, as events unfurl, this may become more of a
concern here as well.  In that sense, I'm passing along an article from New
Zealand about what waste and yard debris workers should consider doing...

From the April 2003 issue of Zero Waste/the New Zealand Trust


The recent media coverage of

the outbreak of the Severe Acute

Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)

has prompted the preparation of

this warning to all people in-volved

in the collection, handling

and disposal of waste materials.

It has been prepared by Richard

Tong, Managing Director, Tong

& Associates Ltd, Resource

Management Consultants. It is

based on current information on

SARS and Richard's earlier re-views

of the risk of illness

amongst refuse workers in New

Zealand and overseas.

The number of reported cases

of SARS seems to be increas-ing

daily, however the identity of

this disease is still not clear.

While we know little about the

health effects of working with

and around refuse and related

products, one study has sug-gested

that people working in

composting operations and with

domestic refuse had a greater

risk of contracting respiratory


It is too early to make any indus-try

specific comments about

SARS other than those made for

the general public, however, it is

worthwhile emphasising the im-portance

of basic safety precau-tions

for those working with

waste materials.

These include:

1. Wear face masks at all times

when handling or near loose


Treat used facial tissues as a

potential source of illness.

2. Do not eat, drink or smoke

while handling or near loose


3. Wear eye protection at all

times when handling or near

loose refuse.

Infectious agents can enter

the body through the eyes.

4. Be diligent with thorough

hand washing after handling

loose waste materials.

For more information contact

Richard Tong at

Peter Anderson
4513 Vernon Blvd. Suite 15
Madison, WI 53705
Ph:    (608) 231-1100
Fax:   (608) 233-0011
Cell    (608) 438-9062
email: anderson@no.address

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