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Agriculture Health and Safety - Tropomyosin (allergen) in Shell Waste

According to the findings of an HSE investigation, agricultural workers who process shellfish are significantly exposed to allergens called tropomyosin (TM).

The HSE Science and Research Centre's Allergen Monitoring Service was requested to measure tropomyosin (TM) in compost for agricultural use that also contained crushed, untreated shell debris from the processing of seafood. The edible sections of some shellfish include a substance called tropomyosin, which is known to produce allergic sensitization, respiratory symptoms, and occupational asthma when inhaled.

When processing shellfish 'waste' into resources, employers must take into account the regulatory implications. Shellfish waste is used by many companies that make fish food, compost, chemicals, and even batteries.

While there may be reasonable agricultural reasons for significantly raising the number of crushed shells in compost, it's possible that the process of grinding such shells to a finely ground powder carries a higher risk activity.

According to the "Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH)," health and safety laws require businesses to efficiently control employees' exposure to substances that are harmful to their health at work, such as tropomyosin (TM).

Tropomyosin (TM) found in the ground and untreated shell waste from seafood processing is an allergen causing skin sensitisation, respiratory symptoms and occupational asthma.
Tropomyosin (TM) - allergen in the agricultural compost

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