Survival of Ascaris eggs and hygienic quality of human excreta in Vietnamese composting latrinesReportar como inadecuado

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Environmental Health

, 8:57

First Online: 16 December 2009Received: 26 June 2009Accepted: 16 December 2009DOI: 10.1186-1476-069X-8-57

Cite this article as: Jensen, P.K., Phuc, P.D., Konradsen, F. et al. Environ Health 2009 8: 57. doi:10.1186-1476-069X-8-57


BackgroundFor centuries farmers in Vietnam have fertilized their fields with human excreta collected directly from their household latrines. Contrary to the official guideline of six-month storage, the households usually only store human excreta for three to four months before use, since this is the length of time that farmers have available to produce fertilizer between two cropping seasons. This study aimed to investigate whether hygienically safe fertilizer could be produced in the latrines within this period of time.

MethodsBy inoculating eggs of the helminth parasite indicator Ascaris suum into heaps of human excreta, a die-off experiment was conducted under conditions similar to those commonly used in Vietnamese latrines. Half a ton of human excreta was divided into five heaps containing increasing concentrations of lime from 0% to 11%.

ResultsRegardless of the starting pH, which varied from 9.4 to 11.6, a >99% die-off of eggs was obtained after 105 to 117 days of storage for all lime concentrations and 97% of eggs were non-viable after 88 days of storage. The most critical parameter found to determine the die-off process was the amount of ammonia urine in the excreta which indicates that longer storage periods are needed for parasite egg die-off if urine is separated from the excreta.

ConclusionBy inactivating >99% of all A. suum eggs in human excreta during a storage period of only three months the commonly used Double Vault Composting DVC latrine, in which urine is not separated, could therefore potentially provide a hygienic acceptable fertilizer.

List of abbreviationsNNitrogen



Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1476-069X-8-57 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Peter KM Jensen - Pham D Phuc - Flemming Konradsen - Lise T Klank - Anders Dalsgaard


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