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Ann Agric Environ Med
Vol.19, No.1, 2012; Pages: 25 - 9

Microbial air contamination in indoor environment of a university library

Kalwasińska A, Burkowska A, Wilk I

Department of Microbiology and Biotechnology, Institute of Ecology and Environment Protection, Nicholas Copernicus University, Toruń, Poland.

Abstract

The present study was aimed at evaluating the number of bacteria and mould fungi in the indoor and outdoor environment of Toruń University Library. The sampling sites were located in the rooms serving the functions typical of libraries (i.e. in the Main Reading Room, Current Periodicals Reading Room, Collections Conservation Laboratory, Old Prints Storeroom, in rooms serving other (non-library) functions (i.e. main hall, cafeteria, and toilet) as well as outside the library building. The analyses reveal that the concentrations of bacterial as well as fungal aerosols estimated with the use of the impaction method ranged between 10(1)-10(3) CFU·m(-3), which corresponds to the concentrations normally observed in areas of this kind. Evaluation of the hygienic condition of the studied areas was based on the criteria for microbiological cleanliness in interiors submitted by the European Commission in 1993. According to this classification, the air was considered to be heavily or moderately contaminated with bacteria, while the air contamination with mould fungi was described as low or moderate. The air in the Old Prints Storeroom was considered the least contaminated with microbial aerosol.

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