Rautiala S, Reponen T, Nevalainen A, Husman T, Kalliokoski P
Year:
1998
Bibliographic info:
USA, American Industrial Hygiene Journal, No 59, 1998, pp 455-460

Three different techniques for reducing exposure to microorganisms were tested during remediation of moldy buildings. Concentrations of spores (fungi and actinomycetes) were determined by filter sampling before, during, and after remediation. The local exhaust method used for asbestos dismantling was the most effective control method. In the construction zone, concentrations of microorganisms were 4-25 times higher during remediation than before it. In the adjacent area no increase in concentrations was seen. When the construction zone was placed under negative pressure with a fan and isolated with a plastic barrier, concentrations of microorganisms were about 100 times higher there during remediation work. Nevertheless, levels remained low in the adjacent area. The use of a portable exhaust fan with a side-draft hood decreased concentrations of fungi to one-tenth compared with demolition without the control technology. Furthermore, this method prevented the migration of fungal spores from the construction zone to the adjacent area, although it was less effective in prevention of actinomycete spore migration. It also decreased the levels of microorganisms in the construction zone below the preconstruction level within 2 hours. This study showed that levels of airborne microorganisms, including from the working area to adjacent area, can be reduced with commonly used dust control methods during demolition work. However, microorganism levels in the construction zone remained elevated. Therefore, personal protection of construction workers is needed even with control techniques.

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