Dry urine-diverting toilets may be used in order to collect excreta for the utilisation of nutrients. A quantitative microbial risk assessment was conducted in order to evaluate the risks of transmission of infectious disease related to the local use of faeces as a fertiliser. The human exposures evaluated included accidental ingestion of small amounts of faeces, or a mixture of faeces and soil, while emptying the storage container and applying the material in the garden, during recreational stays to the garden, and during gardening. A range of pathogens representing various groups of microorganisms was considered. Results showed that 12-months' storage before use was sufficient for the inactivation of most pathogens to acceptable levels. When working or spending time in the garden the annual risk of infection by Ascaris was still slightly above 10-4 in these scenarios, although the incidence rate for Ascaris is very low in the population in question. Measures to further reduce the hygienic risks include longer storage, or treatment, of the faeces. The results can easily be extended to other regions with different incidence rates.
Microbial risk assessment of local handling and use of human faeces
Caroline Schönning, Therese Westrell, Thor Axel Stenström, Karsten Arnbjerg-Nielsen, Arne Bernt Hasling, Linda Høibye, Anders Carlsen; Microbial risk assessment of local handling and use of human faeces. J Water Health 1 March 2007; 5 (1): 117–128. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/wh.2006.049
Download citation file: