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Revista de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 0124-0064


TORO-CATANO, Dubán A.; RAMIREZ-GARCIA, Jairo  and  SEPULVEDA-MEJIA, Diego L.. Safety and environmental risks of coal fired boilers in small and medium-sized enterprises «SMEs», located in Itagüí town, Antioquia. Rev. salud pública [online]. 2017, vol.19, n.4, pp.437-445. ISSN 0124-0064.


To describe the environmental and safety risks present in coal fired boilers in small and medium-sized enterprises, located in Itagüí town.


Cross sectional descriptive study: An appropriate sample of 8 boilers with its corresponding operators was selected. The description of the boilers was carried out through the implementation of four instruments to evaluate and assess security risks; Its level of safety, the environmental risks and the environmental impacts.


The security risk outcome showed that 62 % of the boilers presented an unacceptable level of risk. The safety level outcome showed that 62 % of boilers obtained a poor rating. The environmental risk outcome indicated that 100 % of the boilers had a high level of environmental impact and a medium level of impact for operators. Regarding the environmental impact assessment, 100 % of the boilers under study showed a high level of impact on the air component and medium level of impact on water and soil components.


Due to the low level of safety and the high level of environmental risk found in the boilers under study; SMEs should be aware of the current risks in order to reduce the exposure of the operators to health danger and the environme tal impacts as well. Moreover, it is needed to implement management measures aimed to prevent and control the risks described.

Keywords : Vapor pressure; equipment safety; occupational risks; exposure to environmental risk; risk factors; (source: MeSH, NLM).

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