Airborne microbial and chemical exposure assessment in a hospital environment

P. C. Wu, Huey-Jen Su, C. F. Huang, C. Y. Lin, Ching-Chang Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The characteristics of a hospital environment easily potentiate health hazards resulting from microbial and chemical air pollution. This project was conducted to evaluate the airborne microbial and chemical concentrations in a modern hospital environment with central air-conditioning. The bioaerosol exposure was assessed by sampling viable fungi and bacteria using a single stage/N6 Andersen impactor with Malt and Nutrient agar. After incubation and morphological identification, concentrations of airborne fungi and bacteria were expressed as CFU/m3 (colony forming units/ m3). Airborne endotoxin was collected by filter cassettes connected with personal pump. Limulus amebocyte lysate test and KLARE method was applied for analysis calculation of concentrations. Airborne chemical concentrations were examined according to the SOP(Standard Operating Procedures) published by the Council of Labor Affairs, Taiwan, ROC. Ethanol, MIBK, and xylene were analyzed by GC/FID. Formaldehyde was measured by a Bruel and Kjar Toxic Gas Monitor with data taken every 30 seconds. The preliminary data analyses showed that there was no particularly high bioaerosol concentrations observed in the modern hospital environment in this study other than the Washing Department and the Emergency Room. Most of the chemical exposure did not appear to be of concern. However, the formaldehyde concentration was about 2 to 3 times above the Permissible Exposure Level (1ppm). Considering the animal carcinogenicity of formaldehyde, special improvement of local ventilation and enforcement of personal respiratory protection is highly recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-102
Number of pages10
JournalChinese Journal of Public Health
Volume17
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1998 Jan 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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