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Efficiency and Eco-Costs of Air Purifiers in Terms of Improving Microbiological Indoor Air Quality in Dwellings—A Case Study

Department of Technologies and Installations for Waste Management, Faculty of Energy and Environmental Engineering, Silesian University of Technology, 18 Konarskiego St., Gliwice 44-100, Poland
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Atmosphere 2019, 10(12), 742; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10120742
Received: 20 October 2019 / Revised: 21 November 2019 / Accepted: 23 November 2019 / Published: 26 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Air Quality)
Air pollution, a by-product of economic growth, generates an enormous environmental cost in Poland. The issue of healthy living spaces and indoor air quality (IAQ) is a global concern because people spend approximately 90% of their time indoors. An increasingly popular method to improve IAQ is to use air purifiers (APs). Indoor air is often polluted by bioaerosols (e.g., viruses, bacteria, fungi), which are a major concern for public health. This work presents research on culturable bacterial aerosol (CBA) samples collected from dwellings with or without active APs during the 2019 summer season. The CBA samples were collected using a six-stage Andersen cascade impactor (ACI). The CBA concentrations were expressed as Colony Forming Units (CFU) per cubic metre of air. The average concentration of CBA in dwellings when the AP was active was 450–570 CFU/m3, whereas the average concentration when the AP was not active was 920–1000 CFU/m3. IAQ, when the APs were active, was on average almost 50% better than in cases where there were no procedures to decrease the concentration of air pollutants. Moreover, the obtained results of the particle size distribution (PSD) of CBA indicate that the use of APs reduced the proportion of the respirable fraction (the particles < 3.3 µm) by about 16%. Life cycle assessment (LCA) was used to assess the ecological cost of air purification. Our conceptual approach addresses the impact of indoor air pollution on human health and estimates the ecological cost of APs and air pollution prevention policies. View Full-Text
Keywords: bioaerosol; air purifiers; indoor air quality; bacteria; particle size distribution (PSD); life cycle assessment (LCA) bioaerosol; air purifiers; indoor air quality; bacteria; particle size distribution (PSD); life cycle assessment (LCA)
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Brągoszewska, E.; Bogacka, M.; Pikoń, K. Efficiency and Eco-Costs of Air Purifiers in Terms of Improving Microbiological Indoor Air Quality in Dwellings—A Case Study. Atmosphere 2019, 10, 742.

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