Techno Press

Advances in Environmental Research   Volume 2, Number 1, March 2013, pages 61-80
Assessment of indoor air micro-flora in selected schools
Vinita Katiyar

Abstract     [Full Text]
    Quantification of viable forms of microbial community (bacteria and fungi) using culture-dependent methods was done in order to characterize the indoor air quality (IAQ). Role of those factors, which may influence the concentration of viable counts of bacteria and fungi, like ventilation, occupancy, outdoor concentration and environmental parameters (temperature and relative humidity) were also determined. Volumetric-infiltration sampling technique was employed to collect air samples both inside and outside the schools. As regard of measurements of airborne viable culturable microflora of schools during one academic year, the level of TVMCs in school buildings was ranged between 803-5368 cfu/m3. Viable counts of bacteria (VBCs) were constituted 63.7% of the mean total viable microbial counts where as viable counts of fungi (VFCs) formed 36.3% of the total. Mean a total viable microbial count (TVMCs) in three schools was 2491 cfu/m3. Outdoor level of TVMCs was varied from 736-5855 cfu/m3. Maximum and minimum VBCs were 3678-286 cfu/m3 respectively. Culturable fungal counts were ranged from 268-2089 cfu/m3 in three schools. Significant positive correlation (p < 0.01) was indicated that indoor concentration of viable community reliant upon outdoor concentration. Temperature seemed to have a large effect (p < 0.05, p < 0.01) on the concentration of viable culturable microbial community rather than relative humidity. Consistent with the analysis and findings, the concentration of viable cultural counts of bacteria and fungi found indoors, were of several orders of magnitude, depending upon the potential of local, spatial and temporal factors, IO ratio appeared as a crucial indicator to identify the source of microbial contaminants.
Key Words
    colony forming units (CFUs); indoor air quality (IAQ); indoor-outdoor (IO) ratio; relative humidity (Rh); temperature; viable counts of bacteria and fungi (VBCs and VFCs)
Vinita Katiyar: Department of Respiratory Allergy & Applied Immunology, VP Chest Institute, University of Delhi-110017, India

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