Med. Pr. 2002;53(2)
Assessment of workers' exposure to airborne bacteria at a small wastewater treatment plant
Ocena narażenia na aerozol bakteryjny pracowników niedużej oczyszczalni ścieków
A. Wlazło, J.S. Pastuszka, B. Łudzeń-Izbińska


A study of workers' exposure to airborne culturable bacteria was performed at the wastewater treatment plant in Myszków. A six-stage Andersen impactor was used to carry out measurements. The concentrations of total bacterial aerosols ranged from 102 to 103 CFU/m3 and were lower than the proposed standards. The results of the study show that Gram-negative bacteria contributed to about 35% of the total bacterial aerosol. The largest part of the airborne Gram-negative bacteria constituted Enterobacteriaceae. Pathogenic bacteria found in the air:were as follows: Aeromanas hydrophila, Enterobacter agglomerans, Yersinia enterocolitica, Escherichia coli and Streptococcus faecalis. The microbiological contamination of the air was highest near the aeration basin. Exposure to airborne culturable bacteria may cause respiratory and gastrointestinal symptoms among sewage workers. It is necessary to reduce the exposure to airborne bacteria at this phase of the processof wastewater treatment.

Key words

wastewater treatment, bacterial aerosol, pathogenic bacteria, workerśs exposure

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