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Travelers watch out for #PublicHealth Threats in #Greece due to #Garbage Cleaners' strike

Posted by moodhacker on June 23, 2017 at 6:20 AM

Being already on the fifth day of the oveflowing garbadge on the Greek ciies' streets  due to the cleaners' strike, the coming temperatures of heat during the weekend have  worringly treatened  the Publc Health Authorities, the Local government , but mostly the citizens themselves for the extend of Public Health Emergency that is unknown when and if it will end . Every next day that garbadge remains exposed under the sun the risks of sepsis and more diseases  are multilplied according to Health Safety specialists 

It's a Public Health Emergency, the President of Mayors of Greece, George Patouls, said on the radio early Friday morning, asking the government to straightly respond to the Emergency , while the cities woke up in the hottest day of the summer so far in Greece by the stinky odors of the a five days' garbage mount all over the streets.

The risks according to the Greek Center for Disease Control  Press Release are more than worrying:


Preventive measures to protect public health due to lack of the garbage collection, overflowing and accumulation of garbage in streets, cities and beaches

The Greek Center of Disease Control HCDCP , on the issue of the accumulation of waste in urban areas and the resulting threat to Public Health, has stressed in earlier occasions of the cleaners' strikes -but never till now under 40 degrees Celsius heat envirenment ---  the following :

- The accumulatEd waste is related to public health threats when the waste's disposal is delayed or when the proper safety and sanitation guidelines are not kept.

- Domestic waste can become infectious while being exposed on the streets or outdoor, if the waste remains uncollected for certain days and especially when they contain residues of food or other organic substances (especially fresh), which mae it easier for Sepsis to occur.

The Greek CDC has repeatedly warned in the past that microorganisms found in waste can survive as actively infectious for a long time [e.g.

  • Salmonella of the typhus (4 - 115 days),
  • salmonella of the paratyphus (24 - 136 Days)
  • and salmonella of enteritis (up to 150 days)].

The risks of disease transmission from waste are related to

  • the appearance and multiplication of "carriers" of transmission of various diseases, as are flies, fleas, cockroaches, mosquitoes, gnats, mice and others.
  • The rodents grow and multiply rapidly in such uncontrolled environment while flies or rodents such as mice are fed by waste material, especially where there is waste overflowing from bins and containers or when there is careless disposal around them.
  • Wet weather conditions facilitate the transmission of pathogens to animals or insect carriers , which are transformed to "vehicles" of pathogenic microorganisms transporting the risks of infectiousness from the heaps of rubbish in the urban environment , the households and the people .
  • The possibility of transmission of infectious communicable diseases (through dermal or Intestinal infections) in humans through some of these insects or rodents , that are the "Microbial carriers", follows, either by bite, skin irritation or through contaminated food or water .


Under similar garbage collectors' strikes circumstances, in the past, the Greek CDC, HCDCP, has advised that the following prevention measures are necessary for the protection of public health:

1. The most basic prevention measure is early, rapid disposal and proper collection of ousehold refuse.

If this is not possible, it is recommended:

 careful separation of the type of waste, ie

Residues of food or organic substances should be collected separately from other waste (paper, glass, plastic,canned) and kept in the house until the problem with waste collection is properly restored

 It is recommended that empty cans of food or beverages should be be rinsed before thrown out.

 In addition, garbage collection in the households is recommended to be done in durable bags that should be tightly tied. Bags containing any food should not be exposed to the sun but should be kept in cool place.

2. Particular attention is needed in terms of public contact with

Stray and domestic animals, such as dogs and cats, but also with rodents such as rats and mice in order to avoid microbial infections and communicable diseases

3. Pet owners should be very careful to avoid contact or any approaching of their animals in heaps of waste


Just overflowing  garbage bins poses serious threats to the Public Health commnity and eco system,  the artice points, presenting  five points 


1. Bacteria, insects and vermin thrive from garbage

Overflowing waste bins are an ideal breeding ground for bacteria, insects and vermin. The flies that visit the garbage are also the same flies that roam around your lunch buffet and drop their off springs on your plate. By doing so, they increase the risk of you contracting with salmonella, which causes typhoid fever, food poisoning, enteric fever, gastroenteritis, and other major illnesses. Besides flies, other animals that thrive from the garbage in and around the containers include rats, foxes and stray dogs.

2. Overflowing waste causes air pollution and respiratory diseases

One of the outcomes of overflowing garbage is air pollution, which causes various respiratory diseases and other adverse health effects as contaminants are absorbed from lungs into other parts of the body. The toxic substances in air contaminated by waste include carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane. In everyday life we identify the polluted air especially through bad odors, which are usually caused by decomposing and liquid waste items.

3. Garbage contaminates surface waters, which affects all ecosystems

Garbage and liquid waste that end up in water bodies negatively change the chemical composition of the water. Technically, this type of pollution is called water pollution. It affects all ecosystems existing in the water, including fish and other animals that drink from the polluted water. Hazardous household waste items such as batteries, computer equipment and leftover paints can be particularly dangerous for surface waters.

4. Direct handling of overflowing waste exposes for health risks

For waste collection staff the risks of picking up and handling overflowing garbage include infections, chronic diseases and accidents. Direct contact with waste can result in skin and blood infections through infected wounds, various illnesses resulting from the bites of animals feeding on the waste, and intestinal infections transmitted by flies feeding on the waste. Picking up overflowing garbage is also risky due to sharp objects, needles and potentially hazardous waste.

5. Inefficient waste control is bad for municipal wellbeing

Besides causing all sorts of health and environmental issues, overflowing garbage is a public nuisance and eyesore. Everyone wants to live and visit places that are fresh, clean and healthy. A smelly city with poor sanitation and trash all over the place does not attract people or tourists, let alone investments. Cities keep losing money, and they also miss out on the revenue and job opportunities coming from proper waste control and recycling.

In the UK, Derby City Council had given strickt directions to residents and showp owners when it had to announce in the winter there would be no bin rounds between December 23 and January 3 - so they had to take care for the time  gap before their refuse was taken away.

The 'cost-cutting' measure led to accusations council leaders were 'failing to provide a basic essential service', and threats by campaigners to dump rubbish on the steps of town hall.

Though, the UK authority posted  a series of tips on its website suggesting ways householders can manage their waste.

They include: "Food leftovers can attract vermin like rats or foxes if they aren't disposed of properly.

"Make sure you put food waste in a sealed bag and that the lid of your black bin is properly closed. You can also put food waste in the freezer to stop it going off and smelling, until your next bin collection is due."

In India the official page informs the public that

The growing problem of lack of solid waste management collection as well as improper disposal techniques also lead to various diseases and even death of the animals specially cows, birds and stray dogs who wander and rummages through the waste for food.

These wastes are having different characteristics and having toxic elements. Many times the animals like the cows, buffalos eat up the plastics alongwith the food and due it the death of animals ensues. Due to eating up of waste generated food it affect the quality and quantity of the milk products of the animals.

The improper management and lack of disposal technique of the domestic waste pollutes to the environment. It affects the water bodies. It also changes the physical, chemical and biological properties of the water bodies. Uncollected waste is scattered everywhere and reaches to the water bodies through run-off as well as it percolate to underground water. The toxics contain in the waste, contaminates water. It also makes soil infertile and decrease the agricultural productivity.

Due to uncollected waste and improper disposal techniques drains also get clogged which lead to mosquitoes by which various diseases like malaria, chicken-guinea, wirel fever, dengue etc. arise and affect the health of people adversely.

In Greece :Remember to wash Your Hands as often as possible 

Go to our special Pages

Food Safety in Greece

  Protect from Germs in Greece

Pool Safety in Greece

Greek CDC to Hoteliers 

Categories: Your Safety in Greece , Health Travel &Travel Health in Greece , Health in Greece Update

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