The problem of hygienic standardization of air concentration of microorganisms in office premises
Leonov Yu.I.1, Nazarenko V.I.1, Myshchenko I.2
1State Institution "Kundiev Institute for Occupational Health of the National Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine", Kyiv
2Accredited Laboratory of Occupational Health and Safety, Wroclaw University of Science and Technology, Wroclaw, Poland
Full article (PDF), ENG
Introduction. Today there is an urgent need to create regulations governing the level of microorganisms in the air of office premises. This problem in Ukraine did not attract as much attention as it did now, during the COVID-19 pandemic. In other countries, on the other hand, it has not only been the subject of researches for the past 20 years, but has also introduced certain sanitary rules that employers must follow. In particular, according to research conducted in the United States, indoor air pollution is one of the five most dangerous factors for human health. The most important component that determines the safety and suitability of air is its microbiome, which may contain both pathogenic microorganisms and microorganisms that are not dangerous, but can cause adverse reactions: allergies, immune system stress and more.
The purpose of the study is to analyze the literature and regulatory framework in Ukraine and other developed countries regarding the hygienic regulation of microbiological condition of office air.
Materials and methods of research. Analytical review of scientific publications was carried out using scientometric databases, sanitary legislation of developed countries, periodicals and publications.
Results and their discussion. In the USA, the EU, Japan, Brazil and many other developed countries of the world there are hygienic standards that regulate the permissible limits of the number of microorganisms in the air of office premises. It should be noted that these regulations have significant differences in methodological approaches to risk assessment and criteria. Basically, from 250 to 1000 colony-forming units/m3 are allowed for bacterial microflora and fungi according to the standards of different countries and organizations.
Literature data show a significant correlation (r = 0.35 - 0.40) between the concentration of microorganisms (bacteria and fungi) in indoor air and microclimate parameters, which may be the basis for improving prevention measures.
In Ukraine today, the regulatory framework for the number of microorganisms in the air applies only to premises in health care facilities or premises in the production of pharmaceutical products or food businesses. At the same time, regulations on administrative or office space that would provide safe limits for the presence of microorganisms in their air - have not been developed and implemented in health care practice.
Conclusions. There is a significant need to develop sanitary and anti-epidemic rules for work in office premises in Ukraine, which, in particular, regulates the number of microorganisms (bacteria and fungi) in the air. To address this issue, the scientific and regulatory experience of the EU, the US and other developed countries in regulating the permissible concentration of microorganisms in office air can be very useful. Also, it is very important to consider not only the quantitative but also the qualitative composition of the microbial environment that can affect the human body. When developing preventive measures, it is quite appropriate to determine the impact of microclimatic conditions and other physical factors on the air microbioma.
Keywords: office premises, bacteria, fungi, viruses, air.
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