Exposure Level of Airborne Bacteria in the University Laboratories in Seoul, Korea

  • Hwang, Sung-Ho (Graduate School of Public Health and Institute of Health and Environment, Seoul National University) ;
  • Yoo, Kyong-Nam (Graduate School of Public Health and Institute of Health and Environment, Seoul National University) ;
  • Park, Ji-Ho (Department of Environmental Health, Korea National Open University) ;
  • Park, Dong-Uk (Department of Environmental Health, Korea National Open University) ;
  • Yoon, Chung-Sik (Graduate School of Public Health and Institute of Health and Environment, Seoul National University)
  • Received : 2009.08.26
  • Accepted : 2009.10.01
  • Published : 2009.10.31


This study evaluated the bacterial concentrations and affecting factors at the laboratories of a university in Seoul, Korea. Thirty-three samples of total airborne bacteria (TAB) and eighteen samples of gram negative bacteria (GNB) were collected from both microbiology laboratories (7) and chemistry laboratories (6). GM (GSD) of TAB and GNB concentrations were 194 (2.52) $cfu/m^3$, 24 (4.1) $cfu/m^3$, respectively. TAB concentrations in the chemical laboratories (GM (GSD): 193 (2.0) $cfu/m^3$) were not significantly different from those in microbial laboratories (GM (GSD): 202 (2.7) $cfu/m^3$, (p>0.05)). GM (GSD) of TAB concentrationsat the top of sink, the center of laboratory, and the front of ventilation ventilation device within laboratories, 182 (3.2) $cfu/m^3$, 217 (2.2) $cfu/m^3$, 176 (2.4) $cfu/m^3$, respectively, were not significantly different (p=0.48). Related factors were measured such as temperature, relative humidity, floor of laboratory, number of persons and laboratory area. TAB concentrations were significantly related to temperature (r=0.36, p<0.05), and the floor of laboratory and temperature were also significantly related (r=0.49, p<0.001). However, other factors such as relative humidity, number of persons and laboratory area did not show any significant relationship with TAB concentrations (p>0.05). TAB concentrations were affected significantly by cleaning frequency (p<0.001) and floor of laboratory (p<0.05). There was also a significant difference (p<0.01) between TAB indoor concentrations and TAB outdoor concentrations. However, other factors such as general ventilation did not affect TAB concentrations (p>0.05) in this study.


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