Characteristics of indoor and outdoor bioaerosols at Korean high-rise apartment buildings

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Abstract

This study attempted to evaluate the bioaerosol exposure of apartment residents at high-rise apartment buildings in a Korean city. The characteristics associated with the bioaerosol exposure included the apartment floor, seasonal variation, summer survey period (seasonal rain-front period (SRFP) or no rain-front period (NRFP)), and room location inside an apartment. Four most prevalent fungal genera detected in both the indoor and the outdoor air were Cladosporium, Penicillium, Aspergillus, and Alternaria. The outdoor bacterial concentrations were significantly higher in the low-floor apartments than in the high-floor apartments. However, the bacterial and fungal concentrations in the interior air of the apartments were not significantly different between the low- and the high-floor apartments. The current bioaerosol concentrations were comparable to those in other reports, with geometric mean (GM) bacterial values between 10 and 103CFUm−3 and fungal aerosol concentrations in homes ranging also from 10 to 103CFUm−3. The indoor and outdoor fungal concentrations and the outdoor bacterial concentrations were usually higher in the summer than in the winter. The indoor and outdoor bioaerosol concentrations were both higher for the SRFP than for the NRFP. The difference in the total bacterial concentrations was not significant among the surveyed five rooms. The GM total fungal and Cladosporium concentrations, however, were significantly higher for the kitchen than for the other rooms.

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