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Distribution of Airborne Bacteria and Fungi in the Korean High-speed Train Indoor

Kwon, Soon-Bark1; Cho, Youngmin1; Park, Duck-Shin1; Park, Jaehyung1; Kim, Ki-Youn2; Kim, Changsoo3

doi: 10.1097/01.ede.0000391791.82880.15
Abstracts: ISEE 22nd Annual Conference, Seoul, Korea, 28 August–1 September 2010: Indoor and Built Environment

1Korea Railroad Research Institute, Uiwang, Republic of Korea; 2Hanyang University, Seoul, Republic of Korea; and 3Yonsei University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.

Abstracts published in Epidemiology have been reviewed by the societies at whose meetings the abstracts have been accepted for presentation. These abstracts have not undergone review by the Editorial Board of Epidemiology.


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It is known that the airborne bacteria and fungi can be the cause of a variety of infectious diseases as well as allergic and toxic effects. The purpose of this study is to find the typical concentration levels of bacteria and fungi in Korean high-speed train between Seoul and Busan (408.5 km).

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Samples were taken using MAS-100 Eco (MBV AG) air sampler (sampling flow rate 100 L/min) located in the cabin aisle (3 points), passageway (1 point), and toilet (1 point) at a height of 1.0 m above the floor. The 6-stage Andersen impactor was also used to figure out the size distribution of airborne bacteria and fungi. All the measurements were conducted in spring time of Korea (March 2010).

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It was found that the concentration level of airborne bacteria was 98–173 CFU/m3 (average 148 CFU/m3) and airborne fungi was 64–98 CFU/m3 (average 86 CFU/m3) in the train indoor. The concentration of airborne bacteria was higher than that of fungi by 1.7 times. The highest concentration of bacteria was observed in the cabin aisle, 173 (± 109) CFU/m3, and the similar level of fungi was observed in the passageway and toilet as 97 (± 39) and 98 (± 63).

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In the Korean high-speed train, the concentration level of airborne bacteria was less than 200 CFU/m3 and the level of airborne fungi was less than 100 CFU/m3 in spring time. More surveys in different seasons are undergoing to evaluate the typical level of airborne bacteria and fungi in the train.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.