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Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health 2006;39(4): 325-330.
Distribution of Airborne Fungi, Particulate Matter and Carbon Dioxide in Seoul Metropolitan Subway Stations.
Ki Youn Ki, Jae Beom Park, Chi Nyon Kim, Kyung Jong Lee
1Department of Preventive Medicine & Public Health, Ajou University School of Medicine, Korea. leekj@ajou.ac.kr
2Institute for Occupational Health, College of Medicine, Yonsei University, Korea.
3Center for Health Related Aerosol Studies, Department of Environmental Health, Univ. of Cincinnat, USA.
OBJECTIVES: The aims of this study were to examine the level of airborne fungi and environmental factors in Seoul metropolitan subway stations and to provide fundamental data to protect the health of subway workers and passengers. METHODS: The field survey was performed from November in 2004 to February in 2005. A total 22 subway stations located at Seoul subway lines 1-4 were randomly selected. The measurement points were subway workers' activity areas (station office, bedroom, ticket office and driver's seat) and the passengers' activity areas (station precincts, inside train and platform). Air sampling for collecting airborne fungi was carried out using a one-stage cascade impactor. The PM and CO2 were measured using an electronic direct recorder and detecting tube, respectively. RESULTS: In the activity areas of the subway workers and passengers, the mean concentrations of airborne fungi were relatively higher in the workers' bedroom and station precinct whereas the concentration of particulate matter, PM10 and PM2.5, were relatively higher in the platform, inside the train and driver's seat than in the other activity areas. There was no significant difference in the concentration of airborne fungi between the underground and ground activity areas of the subway. The mean PM10 and PM2.5 concentration in the platform located at underground was significantly higher than that of the ground (p<0.05). CONCLUSIONS: The levels of airborne fungi in the Seoul subway line 1-4 were not serious enough to cause respiratory disease in subway workers and passengers. This indicates that there is little correlation between airborne fungi and particulate matter.
Key words: Subway; Airborne fungi; PM10; PM2.5; Underground; Ground
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