Bioaerosols of subterraneotherapy chambers at salt mine health resort

Krzysztof Frączek , Rafał Górny , Dariusz Ropek


Nowadays, an inhalation of naturally generated aerosols has again become a widely practiced method of balneological treatment of various respiratory diseases. The aim of this study was to characterize the microbial aerosol of subterraneotherapy chambers at the Bochnia Salt Mine Health Resort in southern Poland. The measurements were carried out using a 6-stage Andersen impactor over a period of 1 year in both indoor (i.e., two subterranean chambers, where curative treatments took place) and outdoor air. The maximum bacterial aerosol concentrations in the chambers reached 11,688 cfu/m3. In such interiors, a high-performance method of microbial contaminant reduction need be introduced, especially when large groups of young patients are medically cured. Respecting fungal aerosol, its average indoor concentration (88 cfu/m3) was significantly lower than outdoor level (538 cfu/m3). It confirms that ventilation system provides efficient barrier against this type of biologically active propagules. Among identified micro-organisms, the most prevalent indoors were Gram-positive cocci, which constituted up to 80 % of airborne microflora. As highly adapted to the diverse environments of its human host (skin, respiratory tract), they can be easily released in high quantities into the air. The number of people introduced into such subterranean chambers should be in some way limited. The analysis of microclimate parameters revealed that temperature and relative humidity influenced significantly the level of bacterial aerosol only. Hence, a constant control of these parameters should be scrupulously superintended at this type of subterranean premises.
Author Krzysztof Frączek (FoAE / DoM)
Krzysztof Frączek,,
- Department of Microbiology
, Rafał Górny
Rafał Górny,,
, Dariusz Ropek (FoAE / DoAEP)
Dariusz Ropek,,
- Department of Agricultural Environment Protection
Journal seriesAerobiologia, ISSN 0393-5965, (A 25 pkt)
Issue year2013
Publication size in sheets0.6
Keywords in EnglishAir quality, Bioaerosol, Salt mine, Health resort, Subterraneotherapy
ASJC Classification1110 Plant Science; 2403 Immunology; 2723 Immunology and Allergy
Internal identifierWRE/2013/304
Languageen angielski
Score (nominal)25
Score sourcejournalList
Publication indicators WoS Citations = 10; Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2013 = 0.968; WoS Impact Factor: 2013 = 1.202 (2) - 2013=1.46 (5)
Citation count*3 (2016-07-18)
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* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or Perish system.
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