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Title: The impact of microbiological pollutants on school indoor air quality
Authors: Fsadni, Peter
Bezzina, Frank
Fsadni, Claudia
Montefort, Stephen
Keywords: Asthma in children -- Malta
Microbial contamination
Schools -- Air quality - Malta
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Scientific Research Publishing
Citation: Fsadni, P., Frank, B., Fsadni, C., & Montefort, S. (2017). The impact of microbiological pollutants on school indoor air quality. Journal of Geoscience and Environment Protection, 5, 54-65.
Abstract: Asthma is common in children with allergens and mould influencing the development of the disease. Since children spend most of their time outside their homes within the school environment, school indoor air quality can directly influence their respiratory health. This study aims to identify microbiological contaminants in Maltese schools. The association between contaminants, res-piratory health and school characteristics has been analysed. Five primary schools were selected with 9 to 11 years old students participating. Standardised health questionnaires, lung function tests, and school characterisation were performed. Dust samples were analysed for fungi, bacteria and allergens were performed. Penicillium/Aspergillus/Paecilomyces/Variotii (PenAsp) group had the highest median indoor concentration followed by Mycobacterial and Streptomyces species. There was a significant negative correlation between PenAsp and Mycobacterium spp levels in all the participating schools (r = −0.42; p = 0.03). Cat allergen in classroom dust correlated positively with the number of cat owners (r = 0.43; p = 0.041). High exposure to fungi, bacteria and allergens was significantly associated with upper and lower airway atopy. School/classroom characteristics and cleaning protocols were significantly as-sociated with exposure to these pollutants. In conclusion, fungi, bacteria, en-dotoxin, cat and dog allergens have been found to have a direct influence on school indoor air quality in the Maltese Islands. A significant association was observed between these contaminants and upper and lower airway atopy. Specific school, classroom, cleaning and maintenance characteristics have been identified as having a direct impact on indoor air quality.
Description: The submitted manuscript has not been previously published in any form and is not currently under consideration for publication elsewhere.
ISSN: 23274344
Appears in Collections:Scholarly Works - FacM&SMed

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