Occupational Injuries Among Urban Recyclers

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In this article, we describe the emergence of urban recycling as a new trade and discuss the new pattern of injuries among its practitioners. We conducted a retrospective chart review and convenience survey at an urban homeless health center. We found a high prevalence of severe, costly injuries, many of which are amenable to prevention. Lacerations, infections, needle sticks, and blunt trauma are all common in this group. Some cases are extremely expensive or even lethal. We conclude that a new trade and a new pattern of injuries associated with it have emerged around recycling.

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