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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(9), 1902; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15091902

Microbial Growth on Dust-Loaded Filtering Materials Used for the Protection of Respiratory Tract as a Factor Affecting Filtration Efficiency

1
Department of Personal Protective Equipment, Central Institute for Labour Protection—National Research Institute, Wierzbowa 48, Łódź 90-133, Poland
2
Faculty Biotechnology and Food Science, Institute of Fermentation Technology and Microbiology, Lodz University of Technology, Wólczańska 171/173, Łódź 90-924, Poland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 August 2018 / Revised: 28 August 2018 / Accepted: 29 August 2018 / Published: 1 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Occupational Safety and Health)
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Abstract

This work aims at understanding the effects of various dust-loading conditions and the type of nonwovens used in the construction of FFRs on the safe use of those protective devices in situations of exposure to biological agents. The survival of microorganisms (Escherichia coli, Candida albicans, and Aspergillus niger) in dust-loaded polypropylene nonwovens (melt-blown, spun-bonded, and needle-punched) was experimentally determined using microbiological quantitative method (AATCC TM 100-2004). Scanning electron microscope was used to assess biofilm formation on dust-loaded filtering nonwovens. The impact of the growth of microorganisms on filtration efficiency of nonwovens was analysed based on the measurements of penetration of sodium chloride particles (size range 7–270 nm). Results showed that tested microorganisms were able to survive on dust-loaded polypropylene filtering nonwovens. The survival rate of microorganisms and penetration of nanoparticles and submicron particles depended on the type of microorganism, as well as the type and the amount of dust, which indicates that both of those factors should be considered for FFR use recommendations. View Full-Text
Keywords: microorganisms; respiratory protective equipment; organic/inorganic dust; risk assessment; workplaces microorganisms; respiratory protective equipment; organic/inorganic dust; risk assessment; workplaces
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Majchrzycka, K.; Okrasa, M.; Jachowicz, A.; Szulc, J.; Gutarowska, B. Microbial Growth on Dust-Loaded Filtering Materials Used for the Protection of Respiratory Tract as a Factor Affecting Filtration Efficiency. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 1902.

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