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Open AccessArticle

Exposure to Bacterial and Fungal Aerosols: Microorganism Indices in A Waste-Sorting Plant in Poland

Department of Technologies and Installations for Waste Management, Faculty of Power and Environmental Engineering, Silesian University of Technology, 18 Konarskiego St., 44-100 Gliwice, Poland
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(18), 3308; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16183308
Received: 6 August 2019 / Revised: 30 August 2019 / Accepted: 5 September 2019 / Published: 9 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Field of Human Health and Environment)
An increased understanding of airborne microorganism populations should enable a better interpretation of bioaerosol exposure found in a working environment. An assessment of the contamination levels of mesophilic bacterial aerosol (MBA) and fungal aerosol (FA) was carried out using two evaluation indices for microbiological pollution—the total index of microbiological contamination per cubic meter (TIMC/m3) and the indoor–outdoor index (IOI). An advantage of selected indices is the inclusion of several co-existing factors that have an impact on the formation of bioaerosol. When properly used, they also highlight the low efficiency of the ventilation system caused by an insufficient air exchange. In this study, the microbial air quality (MAQ) of the working environment was assessed during the spring season at a sorting plant located in Southern Poland. Sampling was undertaken in the plant using an Andersen six-stage impactor which allows the obtainment of information about the size distribution of the air microflora. The value of average concentrations of MBA and the average concentration of FA collected in the preliminary cabin of the sorting plant (PCSP) and the cleaning cabin of the sorting plant (CCSP) were analyzed. The obtained values of MBA were 1.6 times higher indoors, compared to outdoors, while FA was 1.7 times higher outdoors than indoors. The maximum TIMC/m3 value was obtained in PCSP (2626). The calculated IOI in this study suggests that MBA concentrations are influenced by internal sources, as opposed to FA. The purpose of this work was to present the usefulness of using indices in assessing air quality. View Full-Text
Keywords: bacterial aerosol; fungal aerosol; sorting plant; indoor air quality; microbiological indices bacterial aerosol; fungal aerosol; sorting plant; indoor air quality; microbiological indices
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Brągoszewska, E. Exposure to Bacterial and Fungal Aerosols: Microorganism Indices in A Waste-Sorting Plant in Poland. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 3308.

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