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Health significance of airborne microorganisms from wastewater treatment processes. Part I: summary of investigations.

Authors
Hickey-JL; Reist-PC
Source
J - Water Pollut Control Fed 1975 Dec; 47(12):2741-2757
NIOSHTIC No.
00236911
Abstract
Investigations concerning the health effects of airborne microorganisms from wastewater collection, treatment, and disposal processes were summarized. Numerous related articles were cited in addition to the 16 published reports, based on 13 field studies, concerning bacteria aerosols and wastewater. Several direct field investigations were discussed. As early as 1907, studies concluded that viable bacteria in wastewater could be aerosolized, thus contaminating the air. However, other studies suggested that the number of airborne bacteria emitted from wastewater sources was insignificant and posed no threat to health. Wastewater sources included sewers, activated sludge aeration tanks, trickling filter facility, and preaeration tanks. Airborne microorganisms originating from wastewater were discovered up to 8 kilometers downwind from the source. Sampling was conducted with agar plates, the Andersen six stage impactor, the Andersen drum sampler, the Wells air centrifuge, impinger samplers, membrane filter samplers, and slit samplers. Particle sizes of less than 5 microns in diameter were reported. Downwind distance, wastewater flow rate, air temperature, wind speed, humidity, darkness, and the size of the wastewater source were determined to affect viable particle emission rates. Larger quantities and varieties of enteric bacteria were collected downwind than were collected upwind. Summarized laboratory results indicated that the bacterial species, aeration bubble size, spore concentration, and the composition of the liquid affected the generation of viable aerosols. In conclusion, the authors discuss several additional studies, which report that the airborne organisms emitted from wastewater pose health hazards to workers as well as nearby residents.
Keywords
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Air-flow; Health-hazards; Workplace-studies; Analytical-methods; Air-sampling; Air-sampling-equipment; Airborne-particles; Sewage-treatment; Training; Temperature-effects; Environmental-factors
Contact
Environmental Sciences & Engr Univ of North Carolina Dept of Environ Scis & Engr Chapel Hill, N C 27514
CODEN
JWPFA5
Publication Date
19751201
Document Type
Journal Article
Funding Amount
514394
Funding Type
Grant
Fiscal Year
1976
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-T01-OH-00099
Issue of Publication
12
ISSN
0043-1303
Source Name
Journal - Water Pollution Control Federation
State
NC
Performing Organization
University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
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