AUTOMOBILE AIR-CONDITIONING SYSTEMS AS A SOURCE OF MICROBIAL CONTAMINANTS
Published: 1 Jun 2017
Abstract: Automobile air-conditioning (AC) systems may be a source of microbiological contamination of driver’s cabs. The study was carried out in 5 randomly selected cars equipped with automatic climate control system. The bacterial and fungal concentrations in air samples before AC servicing in cars were between 75-510cfu/m3 and 40-195cfu/m3, respectively. After AC service, the decrease in microbial concentrations was observed, lowering the contamination levels to 40-275cfu/m3 for bacteria and to 20-115cfu/m3 for fungi. The most prevalent bacterial species in the air of car cabins were Gram-positive cocci (mainly from Staphylococcus and Micrococcus/Kocuria genera) and endospore-forming Gram-positive rods from Bacillus genus. Among the most common fungal representatives were those from Alternaria, Aspergillus, Cladosporium and Penicillium genera. This study showed that to improve the air quality in cars, regular service, including filter replacement, refilling of cooling medium and disinfection of automobile AC system must be done at regular basis.
Keywords: automobile, air-conditioning system, fungi, bacteria, biological aerosol
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