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Title: Assessment of airborne bacteria and fungi in food courts
Authors: Rajasekar, A. 
Balasubramanian, R. 
Keywords: Airborne microbes
Indoor air quality
Size distribution
Issue Date: Oct-2011
Citation: Rajasekar, A., Balasubramanian, R. (2011-10). Assessment of airborne bacteria and fungi in food courts. Building and Environment 46 (10) : 2081-2087. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: A study was undertaken to determine the effect of variations in temperature, relative humidity, occupancy density and location (indoor/outdoor) on the concentrations of viable airborne bacterial and fungal spores at an air-conditioned and a non air-conditioned food stall in Singapore. Typically, bioaerosols consisted of 50.5% bacteria and 49.5% fungi in the indoor environment. In contrast, for the outdoor environment, bacteria on an average only accounted for 20.6% of culturable airborne microorganisms whereas fungal concentrations were 79.4%. Results on bioaerosol size distributions revealed that 67% of indoor bacteria and 68% of outdoor bacteria, 85% of indoor fungi and 68% of outdoor fungi were associated with fine mode particulates (<3.3 μm). Occupant density was the key factor that affected indoor airborne bacteria concentrations while concentrations of outdoor airborne bacteria depended strongly on ambient temperature. Indoor fungal concentration was positively correlated to relative humidity whereas outdoor fungal concentration was positively correlated to relative humidity and negatively correlated to temperature. The study also compared the biological air quality between a non air-conditioned food stall (Stall A) and an air-conditioned food stall (Stall B). The dining area of the former had lower bacterial concentrations as compared to the latter, while fungal spore's concentrations showed a reverse trend. The dominant airborne bacteria genera were Staphylococcus, Pseudomonas, Alcaligens, and Corynebacterium whereas Penicillium, Aspergillus and Cladosporium were the most common fungal genera and groups in both food stalls. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.
Source Title: Building and Environment
ISSN: 03601323
DOI: 10.1016/j.buildenv.2011.04.021
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