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Air Quality and Potential Health Risk Impacts of Exposure to Bacterial Aerosol in a Waste Sorting Plant Located in the Mountain Region of Southern Poland, Around Which There Are Numerous Rural Areas

1
Faculty of Power and Environmental Engineering, Department of Technologies and Installations for Waste Management, Silesian University of Technology, 18 Konarskiego St., 44-100 Gliwice, Poland
2
Institute for Ecology of Industrial Areas, Environmental Microbiology Unit, 6 Kossutha St., 40-844 Katowice, Poland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2019, 10(7), 360; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10070360
Received: 31 May 2019 / Revised: 20 June 2019 / Accepted: 28 June 2019 / Published: 29 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rural and Remote Aerosol)
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Abstract

Many studies have shown an association between working in waste sorting plants (SP) and occupational health problems, such as skin irritation or pulmonary diseases. These symptoms have been related to biological aerosol exposure. The main goal of this work was to assess the levels of concentration and the characteristics of bacterial aerosols in waste sorting plants, based on measurements taken in a plant located in the mountain region of Southern Poland, around which there are numerous rural areas. The average concentrations of culturable bacterial aerosol (CCBA) collected in the unloading hall of the waste sorting plant (UHSP) and the outdoor air of the sorting plant (OSP) were 2687 CFU/m3 and 1138 CFU/m3, respectively. Sampling was undertaken in the plant using an Andersen six-stage impactor (with aerodynamic cut-off diameters of 7.0, 4.7, 3.3, 2.1, 1.1, and 0.65 μm), during the spring of 2019. Size distributions were unimodal, with a peak in particle bacterial aerodynamic diameters at less than 3.3 µm, increasing the potentially adverse health effects of their inhalation. An analysis was conducted to determine the antibiotic resistance of isolated strains of bacteria. During the study, it was found that isolates belonging to the genus Bacillus were most frequently detected in the waste sorting plant. Isolates with the highest resistance to antibiotics belonged to the genus Neisseria. This test indicates that the use of personal protective equipment is necessary. View Full-Text
Keywords: air quality; municipal mixed-waste sorting plant; bacterial aerosol; antibiotic resistance; human health risks air quality; municipal mixed-waste sorting plant; bacterial aerosol; antibiotic resistance; human health risks
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Brągoszewska, E.; Biedroń, I.; Hryb, W. Air Quality and Potential Health Risk Impacts of Exposure to Bacterial Aerosol in a Waste Sorting Plant Located in the Mountain Region of Southern Poland, Around Which There Are Numerous Rural Areas. Atmosphere 2019, 10, 360.

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