Risk assessment on bioaerosols in residential buildings

Pao Yue-kong Library Electronic Theses Database

Risk assessment on bioaerosols in residential buildings


Author: Chu, Man-yan Mianne
Title: Risk assessment on bioaerosols in residential buildings
Degree: M.Eng.
Year: 2011
Subject: Indoor air pollution -- China -- Hong Kong.
Air -- Microbiology -- China -- Hong Kong.
Dwellings -- Environmental aspects.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Dept. of Building Services Engineering
Pages: xiii, 168 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm.
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2449794
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/6240
Abstract: It is well proven that exposure to bioaerosol especially fungi and bacteria can induce adverse health effects. In countries such as Taiwan and Argentina, previous studies have been confined to residential buildings. However, in Hong Kong, there are only a few published on the study of fungal abundance in commercial buildings and none in residential buildings. This study aims to investigate the bacterial and fungal abundance and generate a profile for residential buildings in Hong Kong so that a better understanding on the occurrence in living environment can be developed. The samples were collected from November 2010 to April 2011 in different apartments located over Hong Kong by using a sampler Reuter Centrifugal Air Sampler (RCS). Four locations, living room, bedroom, kitchen and outdoor were surveyed to investigate the fungal abundance of different locations in an apartment. In each apartment, home assessment was carried out to record the living environment and behavior for evaluation. The relationship between the bioaerosol abundance and seasonal variations (relative humidity and temperature), factors related to living environment (potential sources in apartments and housekeeping habit) and exposure risk of human to fungi were examined. The common fungal genera found in the samples were Rhizopus, Pencillium, Cladosporium, Alternaria, Chrysonilia, Stachybotrys, Ulocladium, Yeast and Aureobasidium. The dominant fungal genus was the same in winter and spring and it was Cladosporium. These results agree with the published information on the fungal populations worldwide. With the exception of Aspergillus, positive correlations between temperature and the fungal abundance of Alternaria, Aureobasidium and Cladosporium were found. Pencillium showed similar abundance in spring and winter. As for bacteria, the two dominant genera were Miccrococcus and Staphylococcus. No significant correlation between the bacterial abundance and temperature as well as relative humidity could be found. The possible causes of high concentration of bioaerosols in residential buildings were identified by evaluating the relationship between the bioaerosol abundance and the home assessment record and only the owning of pet had a positive correlation with fungal concentration. No significant correlation between bacterial concentration and home characteristics could be found. Future studies should concentrate on collecting more samples in rural areas of Hong Kong, include other factors such as building orientation and wind direction and conduct surveys in the other two seasons (summer and autumn) so as to generate a comprehensive seasonal profile for bioaerosols in residential buildings in Hong Kong.

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