The role of open-air inhalatoria in the air quality improvement in spa towns
Departament of Environmental Microbiology and Biotechnology, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Toruń, Poland
Departament of Environmental Microbiology and Biotechnology, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Lwowska 1, 87-100, Toruń, Poland
Int J Occup Med Environ Health 2014;27(4):560–570
Objectives: The present study was aimed at evaluating microbiological contamination of air in Ciechocinek and Inowrocław – Polish lowland spa towns. Additionally, the impact of open-air inhalatoria on the quality of air was evaluated. Material and Methods: Air samples were collected seasonally in the urban areas, in the recreation areas and in the vicinity of inhalatoria in both towns using impaction. The numbers of mesophilic bacteria, staphylococci, hemolytic bacteria and actinomycetes were determined on media according to the Polish Standard PN-86/Z-04111/02. The number of moulds was determined on media according to the Polish Standard PN-86/Z-04111/03. Results: While the highest numbers of microorganisms were noted at the sites located in the urban areas, the lowest numbers were noted in the vicinity of the open-air inhalatoria. In all the investigated air samples the values of bioaerosol concentrations were below the recommended TLVs (≤ 5000 CFU×m–3 for both bacteria and fungi in outdoor environments). Location of the sampling site was invariably a decisive factor in determining the number of microorganisms in the air. Conclusions: The aerosol which is formed in the open-air inhalatoria has a positive influence on microbiological air quality. Owing to a unique microclimate and low air contamination, Ciechocinek and Inowrocław comply with all necessary requirements set for health resorts specializing in treating upper respiratory tract infections.