Background: The process of waste decomposition can cause air pollution, one of which is Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) gas pollution. Airborne contaminants can spoil ambient air quality and cause respiratory diseases. This study aimed to determine the association between H2S level and respiratory symptoms in scavengers at Ganet landfill, Tanjungpinang City, Riau, Indonesia.
Subjects and Method: This was an analytic study with a cross-sectional design. The study was conducted at Ganet landfill, Tanjungpinang City, Riau, Indonesia. A sample of 30 scavengers who worked for 3 years was selected for this study. The dependent variable was respiratory symptoms. The independent variables were H2S level, working period, and exposure duration. The H2S level was measured by Aero Quol tools. Decree of the Minister of Environment No. 50 of 1996 set the standard of H2S= 0.02 ppm. Other variables were collected by questionnaire. The data were analyzed by chi-square test.
Results: Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) level was 0.10 ppm which exceeded the standard of 0.02 ppm. H2S exposure time 3-7 hours caused a cough (10%), fever (16.7%), cold (20%), and shortness of breath (6.7%). H2S exposure time 7-10 hours caused acough (26.7%), sore throat 3.3%, fever 16.7%, headache (3.3%), and fever (16.7%). Working period <8 years experienced cough (13.3%), fever (20%), headache (3.3%), fever (20%), and shortness of breath (3.3%). Working period ≥8 years experienced a cough (23.3%), sore throat (3.3%), fever (13.3%), cold (16.7%), and shortness of breath (3.3%).
Conclusion: Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) level in the air exceeding the quality standard, prolonged exposure, and working period cause respiratory symptoms.
Keywords: respiratory symptoms, Hydrogen sulfide, scavengers, landfill