The impact of flood and post-flood cleaning on airborne microbiological and particle contamination in residential houses

He, Congrong, Salonen, Heidi, Ling, Xuan, Crilley, Leigh, Jayasundara, Nadeesha, Cheung, Hing Cho, Hargreaves, Megan, Huygens, Flavia, Knibbs, Luke D., Ayoko, Godwin A. and Morawska, Lidia (2014) The impact of flood and post-flood cleaning on airborne microbiological and particle contamination in residential houses. Environment International, 69 9-17. doi:10.1016/j.envint.2014.04.001


Author He, Congrong
Salonen, Heidi
Ling, Xuan
Crilley, Leigh
Jayasundara, Nadeesha
Cheung, Hing Cho
Hargreaves, Megan
Huygens, Flavia
Knibbs, Luke D.
Ayoko, Godwin A.
Morawska, Lidia
Title The impact of flood and post-flood cleaning on airborne microbiological and particle contamination in residential houses
Journal name Environment International   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1873-6750
0160-4120
Publication date 2014-08
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.envint.2014.04.001
Open Access Status
Volume 69
Start page 9
End page 17
Total pages 9
Place of publication Kidlington, Oxford United Kingdom
Publisher Pergamon Press
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Formatted abstract
In January 2011, Brisbane, Australia, experienced a major river flooding event. We aimed to investigate its effects on air quality and assess the role of prompt cleaning activities in reducing the airborne exposure risk. A comprehensive, multi-parameter indoor and outdoor measurement campaign was conducted in 41 residential houses, 2 and 6months after the flood. The median indoor air concentrations of supermicrometer particle number (PN), PM10, fungi and bacteria 2months after the flood were comparable to those previously measured in Brisbane. These were 2.88pcm-3, 15μgm-3, 804cfum-3 and 177cfum-3 for flood-affected houses (AFH), and 2.74pcm-3, 15μgm-3, 547cfum-3 and 167cfum-3 for non-affected houses (NFH), respectively. The I/O (indoor/outdoor) ratios of these pollutants were 1.08, 1.38, 0.74 and 1.76 for AFH and 1.03, 1.32, 0.83 and 2.17 for NFH, respectively. The average of total elements (together with transition metals) in indoor dust was 2296±1328μgm-2 for AFH and 1454±678μgm-2 for NFH, respectively. In general, the differences between AFH and NFH were not statistically significant, implying the absence of a measureable effect on air quality from the flood. We postulate that this was due to the very swift and effective cleaning of the flooded houses by 60,000 volunteers. Among the various cleaning methods, the use of both detergent and bleach was the most efficient at controlling indoor bacteria. All cleaning methods were equally effective for indoor fungi. This study provides quantitative evidence of the significant impact of immediate post-flood cleaning on mitigating the effects of flooding on indoor bioaerosol contamination and other pollutants.
Keyword Indoor air
Particle number
PM10
Fungi
Bacteria
Indoor dust
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Public Health Publications
 
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