Next Article in Journal
Towards Economic Land Evaluation at the Farm Scale Based on Soil Physical-Hydrological Features and Ecosystem Services
Next Article in Special Issue
Reverse QMRA as a Decision Support Tool: Setting Acceptable Concentration Limits for Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Naegleria fowleri
Previous Article in Journal
Vinasse as a Sustainable Medium for the Production of Chlorella vulgaris UTEX 1803
Previous Article in Special Issue
Human Health Impact of Cross-Connections in Non-Potable Reuse Systems
Open AccessArticle

Legionella pneumophila as a Health Hazard to Miners: A Pilot Study of Water Quality and QMRA

1
Department of Community, Environment, and Policy, Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85724, USA
2
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, College of Public Health, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 19122, USA
3
Division of Environmental Health Sciences, College of Public Health, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(8), 1528; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11081528
Received: 4 July 2019 / Revised: 19 July 2019 / Accepted: 20 July 2019 / Published: 24 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Risks of Alternative Water Sources)
Legionella pneumophila (L. pneumophila), the causative agent of legionellosis, is an aquatic bacterium that grows in warm water. Humans are only presented with a health risk when aerosolized water containing L. pneumophila is inhaled. In mining operations, aerosolized water is used as dust control and as part of the drilling operations, a currently ignored exposure route. This study characterized L. pneumophila concentrations in the mine’s non-potable water and the relationship between L. pneumophila and chlorine concentrations. These concentrations informed a quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) model to estimate the infection risk to miners exposed to aerosolized water containing L. pneumophila. Fourteen water samples were collected from seven locations at a mine and analyzed for temperature, pH, chlorine, and L. pneumophila serogroup. Most samples (93%) tested positive for L. pneumophila cells. The faucet from the sprinkler system on the adit level (entrance to the underground mine levels) showed the highest concentration of L. pneumophila (8.35 × 104 MPN/L). Disability adjusted life years (DALYs) were estimated in the QMRA model and showed that the risk for all miners was significantly lower (p < 0.0001) with the ventilation system on than when the system was off. Our study showed that the use of a ventilation system at the adit level of the mine reduced the risk of infection with aerosolized L. pneumophila. View Full-Text
Keywords: Legionella pneumophila; QMRA; mining safety; DALYs (disability adjusted life years); air quality ventilation Legionella pneumophila; QMRA; mining safety; DALYs (disability adjusted life years); air quality ventilation
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Madera-García, V.; Mraz, A.L.; López-Gálvez, N.; Weir, M.H.; Werner, J.; Beamer, P.I.; Verhougstraete, M.P. Legionella pneumophila as a Health Hazard to Miners: A Pilot Study of Water Quality and QMRA. Water 2019, 11, 1528.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop