Indoor Monitoring of Fungal Bioaerosols For Their Genera and Concentration: A Baseline Study at Azad Jammu & Kashmir (Pakistan)
JAWAD NASIR (1), Badar Ghauri (1), Said Rehman (1), Asif Noor (1), Abdul Mannan (1), Christian Khalil (2)
(1) Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO), (2) School of Risk & Safety Sciences, University of New South Wales, Australia
Abstract Number: 598
Preference: No preference
Last modified: May 14, 2010
Working Group: Indoor Aerosols
Bioaerosols are potentially related to various human health effects and the indoor environment provides a unique exposure situation, concerns about indoor bioaerosols have increased over the last decade. Despite its importance and complexity, the indoor environment has been much less thoroughly been studied in Pakistan than that outdoors. Fungi and their biological metabolites, the mycotoxins, are present almost everywhere in indoor and outdoor environments. The most common symptoms of these silent and ruthless attackers of human health are runny nose, eye irritation, cough, congestion, and aggravation of asthma. This study assessed indoor air quality for characterization and counts of fungal species in six indoor locations in Pakistan administered Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJ&K). These locations included household, hospital, school and industry. The indoor air was impacted for 5 minutes through single stage impactor at air flow rate 28.3 liter per minute, onto fungi specific agar medium contained in a 100 mm petri dish fitted under the sieve. Occupants were allowed to use the common areas normally during sampling. The number of colony-forming units (CFUs) per cubic meter was calculated from the number of CFUs counted per plate and the collected air volumes. The indoor fungal levels were varied from 21 to 240 CFUs per cubic meter with predominant genera of Penicillium, Aspergillus Flavus, Cladosporium and Malbranching in all samples. Since there are as such no laws governing indoor fungal bioaerosol levels, fungal loading levels were compared against currently available guidelines by American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) and US Public Health Services. Using these guidelines, the results indicate that fungal organisms at most monitoring sites meet the recommended level of 200 CFUs per cubic meter except two sites i.e. rural household and food industry with slightly at higher side.