Emptying organic rubbish can damage health, say doctors

German scientists are warning householders of the health dangers posed by storing organic waste, saying exposure to it, particularly to the moulds that develop as the material decays, can cause skin problems and even breathing difficulties.
Harald Morr, a leading pneumologist, who is also chairman of the German Lung Foundation, said studies showed that airborne mould spores from organic waste could lead to allergic reactions, asthma attacks, hayfever-like symptoms and itchy skin lesions.
"Even just opening the lid of a bin containing organic waste can cause mould spores to be stirred up which, if breathed in, can damage the lungs," said Morr. "The more spores breathed in, the worse the repercussions on one's health can be."
These are issues more often associated with environmental pollutants such as vehicle emissions than with a recycling practice that households around the world are being encouraged to adopt. However, as more people do separate their rubbish, concerns about the way organic waste is stored are growing.