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Seasonal Variation of Culturable Bioaerosols in a Wastewater Treatment Plant

Category: Bioaerosols

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DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2017.11.0466
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Mansooreh Dehghani1, Armin Sorooshian2,3, Mohammad Ghorbani4, Mehdi Fazlzadeh5,6, Mohammad Miri7, Parisa Badiee8, Ali Parvizi9, Marziye Ansari9, Abbas Norouzian Baghani 5,9, Mahdieh Delikhoon10

  • 1 Research Center for Health Sciences, Department of Environmental Health Engineering, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
  • 2 Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
  • 3 Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
  • 4 Torbat Heydariyeh University of Medical Sciences, Torbat Heydariyeh, Iran
  • 5 Department of Environmental Health Engineering, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
  • 6 Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Ardabil University of Medical Sciences, Ardabil, Iran
  • 7 Department of Environmental Health Engineering, School of public health, Sabzevar University of Medical Sciences, Sabzevar, Iran
  • 8 Alborzi Clinical Microbiology Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
  • 9 Department of Environmental Health Engineering, School of Public Health, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
  • 10 Department of Occupational Health Engineering, School of Public Health, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

Highlights

Bioaerosols produced from Wastewater Treatment Plants in Shiraz were investigated.
Selector and aeration tanks had the highest effect on emission of bacterial.
Airborne fungi isolated were Cephalotrichum, Alternaria, Penicillium, and Monilia.
The concentration of bacteria and fungi in spring were more than winter and autumn.


Abstract

Bioaerosols produced from Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTPs) can pose health risks to plant workers and nearby inhabitants. There is a gap in air quality data for WWTPs in developing countries. The present study aimed to measure airborne bacteria and fungi concentrations in a WWTP in southwestern Iran between September 2015 and May 2016. Active sampling was carried out around operational units and a total of 600 bacterial and fungal samples were collected. Spatial and seasonal comparisons were made. Seasonally-dependent locations for the highest concentration of culturable bacterial aerosol were as follows: selector and aeration tanks exhibited an average of 2581 ± 401 and 1952 ± 390 CFU m-3 in autumn, respectively; the aeration tank had an average of 1363 ± 299 CFU m-3 in winter; and the screw pump exhibited an average of 1738 ± 350 CFU m-3 in spring. Furthermore, the predominant genera of airborne fungi isolated from the air of the WWTP in the three seasons were Cephalotrichum spp., Alternaria spp., Penicillium spp., Monilia spp., and Aspergillus spp. The results of this work emphasize the necessity to control WWTP workers’ exposure to bioaerosols when airborne bacteria and fungi become aerosolized during aeration.

Keywords

Air contamination Bioaerosols Wastewater treatment plant Health risk Iran


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