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BACTERIA

BACTERIA | DEFINITION

Image of bacteria seen under a microscope

What are bacteria? Bacteria are microscopic living cells with a relatively simple structure; they are unicellular. Bacterial infections are contracted by respiratory and digestive tract or by inoculation from sting, scratch and cut.

Bacteria in the ambient air come from two sources: aerosols generated by water such as humidifiers, air conditioners, cooling towers and dirty water, etc., and aerosols generated by humans or animals.

Saprophytic and pathogenic bacteria are dispersed in the air by humans when sneezing, coughing and talking. These bacteria can survive for variable periods of time, depending on the size of the droplets, the temperature of the air, its relative humidity, and the presence of a substrate that allows it to travel.

It is usually accepted that the transmission of diseases from person to person can be done by exposure to an aerosol, but few people know that the bacteria carried by water, which are present in outdoor environment, can multiply. These same bacteria can be hidden inside buildings and cause disease. Some types of bacteria are found in humidifiers of ventilation systems. They would then cause the syndrome called "humidifier fever". This syndrome is a response to airborne allergens that include endotoxins from a number of Gram-negative bacteria. Endotoxins can cause fever, leukocytosis, or leukopenia (a decrease in white blood cells) in humans. In addition, exposure of the epidermis to certain bacteria can cause skin diseases (dermatitis), etc.

AIRTESTS evaluates air quality in all indoor environments, we can help you detect VOCs (volatile organic compounds), asbestos, bacteria, mold and dust that disturb occupants of places. By knowing the real state of the place, you will be better able to intervene to alleviate the problems related to the bad quality of the air, you will increase the feeling of well-being of your employees and the productivity of the in addition to reducing absenteeism

Bacteria, sampling methods

Laboratory employee with a sample of bacteria

Depending on the nature of the specific needs of each situation and the time available to obtain the results provided by the laboratory, here are the different sampling methods used by AIRTESTS in the search for indoor environmental contaminants:

Method 1 Bacteria in the air sampling by Andersen Bio Impaction. Airborne bacteria

Bactéries en suspension dans l’air, les paramètres obtenus par ces prélèvements sont le dénombrement, la coloration de Gram avec l’option de recherche avancée l’identification à l’espèce. Les bactéries, les relevés microbiologiques de l’air sont réalisés à la suite de prélèvements à l’aide d’un impacteur Andersen. Grâce au procédé d’impaction, l’air entre dans l’appareil par le dessus de l’unité et les micro-organismes sont séparés et emmagasinés dans milieu de culture approprié par la force d’impaction. Pour les bactéries, sont utilisons simultanément 2 milieux de culture sur pétri soit le MacConkey et le TSA 100. Les prélèvements sont conservés à 4 °C. Les résultats des analyses du laboratoire sont donnés en UFC/m3 (Unité formatrice de Colonie/Mètre cube d’air). L’interprétation des données se fait en comparant les résultats volumétriques entre l’air intérieur et extérieur. La concentration des bactéries devrait être plus faible à l’intérieur qu’à l’extérieur pour le dénombrement et les profils similaires lorsque le milieu intérieur est sain. Les techniques de prélèvement s’appliquent aux bactéries viables seulement (relatif à la croissance en incubateur).

The parameters obtained by these samples are the enumeration, the Gram stain with the advanced search option and the species identification. Bacteria and microbiological readings of the air are taken after sampling with an Andersen impactor. Through the impaction process, the air enters the impactor from above the unit and the microorganisms are separated and stored in appropriate culture medium by the impaction force. For the bacteria, two petri culture media are used simultaneously, namely MacConkey and TSA 100. The samples are stored at 4 °C. The results of the laboratory analyzes are given in CFU/m3 (colony forming unit/cubic meter of air). The interpretation of the data is done by comparing volumetric results between indoor and outdoor air. Bacterial concentration should be lower indoors than outdoors for enumeration or have similar profiles when the indoor environment is healthy. The sampling techniques apply to viable bacteria only (relative to growth in incubator).

AIRTESTS has adopted a research protocol which by default consists of a combination of Gram staining count and classification. In principle, the enumeration will indicate whether or not the area being tested is contaminated, Gram stain will indicate whether the family of bacteria belongs to either the Gram + or Gram - family. Example of bacteria of the Gram (+) family such as Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, Enterococcus ... Example of bacteria of the Gram (-) family such as Escherichia Coli, Enterobacter, Salmonella ... If it is relevant in the process for further investigation, we will choose to push the search to identify 2 to 3 dominant colonies that have been cultured on the agar that has been previously incubated.

Air - Bacteria (BHAA) Our basic research protocol will include the following steps: Enumeration of BHAA (Gram Negative) on MacConkey Agar Enumeration of BHAA on TSA Agar 100 Gram Stain Classification Our Search Option Protocol Advanced will include this additional step: Identification of 2 to 3 dominant bacterial species per culture medium

Method 2 Surface Bacteria from swab-type matrix sampling

Viable Surface Bacteria - The parameters that can be obtained by these samples are enumeration, Gram staining and species identification. A sample of surface contaminants for microbiological analyzes is collected using a swab specifically designed for the collection and transport of microorganisms. This method of sampling is defined by the term "smear-contact". An area of 100 cm2 (10cmx10cm) or 25 cm2 (5cmx5cm) will be selected according to the most appropriate situation, will be sampled with a swab to obtain the results in CFU/cm2. Sampling applies to viable bacteria only. These samples are usually taken inside the ducts or on the ventilation grills and on any other surfaces of suspect appearance. The enumeration is the basic step, it will indicate if the evaluated area is contaminated or not. The Gram stain, the next research step, will indicate the family of bacteria belonging to either Gram-positive or Gram-negative bacteria. Example of bacteria of the Gram (+) family such as Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, Enterococcus ...

Example of bacteria of the Gram (-) family such as Escherichia Coli, Enterobacter, Salmonella ... The third and last stage of research consists in retaining 1 , 2 or 3 dominant colonies observed during selection for Gram staining and identification. One of the advantages of species identification is that the knowledge provided will make it easier to choose the appropriate biocide for eradication.

AIRTESTS evaluates air quality in all indoor environments, we can help you detect VOCs (volatile organic compounds), asbestos, bacteria, mold and dust that disturb occupants of places. By knowing the real state of the place, you will be better able to intervene to alleviate the problems related to the bad quality of the air, you will increase the feeling of well-being of your employees and the productivity of the in addition to reducing absenteeism

AIR CONDITIONERS AND BACTERIA

Image of air conditioner filter filled with bacteria

Air conditioning devices can harbor viruses, bacteria or molds. When this is the case, respiratory infections can occur in the occupants. Legionellosis is a serious, rare lung disease that can be life-threatening. The bacterium Legionella pneumophila is responsible for this infection. This bacteria easily proliferates in the presence of slightly heated and stagnant water. Some air conditioners use a circuit system cooled with water. The bacterium multiplies and is found in the air. People can infected by breathing droplets of contaminated water. This disease is called the "legionnaire's disease". His name comes from the circumstances of his discovery. In 1976, 200 delegates attending an American Legion convention in Philadelphia fell ill. Health authorities concluded that the respiratory infection came from the hotel's air-conditioning system, which was contaminated with the bacteria.

The bacteria can grow when all conditions are met. They can colonize poorly maintained or defective wetlands systems with stagnant water that does not exceed 50 degrees Celsius. The most vulnerable facilities are water distribution systems, hot water tanks, cooling towers, humidifiers, air conditioning systems, whirlpools, spas, shower heads, swimming pools, fountains, etc. The bacterium is found in the water droplets generated by the devices. They can then find themselves in the air and get into the ventilation system. The bacterium is then found all around the building.

It goes without saying that the proper maintenance of circuits and facilities is important to prevent the proliferation of the bacteria. Regular cleaning and disinfection of air conditioning and humidification systems is important.

AIRTESTS evaluates air quality in all indoor environments, we can help you detect VOCs (volatile organic compounds), asbestos, bacteria, mold and dust that disturb occupants of places. By knowing the real state of the place, you will be better able to intervene to alleviate the problems related to the bad quality of the air, you will increase the feeling of well-being of your employees and the productivity of the in addition to reducing absenteeism

MEDICAL CLINICS

Medical clinic or may end up bacteria

Asepsis refers to the prevention of infectious diseases by preventing contamination from bacteria, microbes, parasites or other germs in a given area. It aims to reduce the proliferation of pathogens and the transmission of viruses. Whether it's a private company or a government clinic, these places must have an exemplary air quality.

Avoidable problems ... too seldom avoided. In North America, we spend the vast majority of our time inside a building, whether for work, family life or even some sports. Yet, in all these places we frequent every day, the air quality is too often worrying and a source of health problems. Inadequate or poorly maintained ventilation systems and the lack of filtration equipment in common rooms favor the development of allergies and the transmission of contagious diseases. Electrical and electronic devices, especially when they are many, some stored materials or cleaning products can emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) toxic for the occupants.

After all our years doing inspections in companies, we found that the problems were often recurring; even though buildings are equipped with quality ventilation and air purification equipment, the maintenance of filters and appliances is not rigorously or systematically performed. They quickly blow air with particles and pollutants. When the filters need to be changed, the protocols are not well known by those who handle them, and they not only put their health at risk, but they also rely in ambient air particles that were collected. And finally, the filter changes are very expensive and cause expenses that the purchasers had not always well evaluated. Generally people forget or choose to stretch the periods between filter changes, and devices become useless or dangerous. Poor maintenance, lack of knowledge and negligence are the causes of many problems at work.

This simple gesture we do on average 20,000 times a day. The purity of the air promotes good brain irrigation and strengthens our body. It is a vital need, so why wait to go on vacation to breathe "the good air"? In a classroom, an office or a gym, the air is shared. When it is poorly renewed and filtered, it also promotes the sharing of micro-organisms that thrive, which results in such seasonal outbreaks of influenza and gastroenteritis, or multiple other health problems according to contaminants.

Poor air quality at work greatly reduces employee productivity and increases the rate of absenteeism. For a number of years, to reduce energy consumption, buildings are increasingly isolated. This greatly reduces air infiltration and thus its renewal. Without proper filtering, indoor pollutants are not removed. Poor air quality can cause fatigue, respiratory irritation, colds, flu, asthma, otitis and migraine. To prevent the spread of germs, viruses, bacteria and pollen, and so that a single employee does not cause chain disruptions, choose the purifier that suits you and keep your group activities in peace.

Indoor air contaminants; the effects on the physiological and psychological health of the occupants. Since you spend more than 80% (and sometimes up to 90 %!) Of your time in closed rooms such as at home, at school or at work ... air testing is a way to prevent any pathology likely to affect your life quality, your employees, your family or the people around you.

Biological and chemical pollutants. Poor indoor air is loaded with contaminants that poison your life. The main types of indoor air pollutants are biological or chemical. Biological pollutants come from living organisms, such as: molds, fungi, spores, bacteria, mites and pollens. Chemical pollutants are gases, vapors and particles, such as: Asbestos, micro-fibers, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), gaseous formaldehyde, lead and other metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), dust of all sizes and micro particles. Viruses, bacteria, pollen and other bio aerosols have no odors, just like asbestos or metal particles, but they can be present in the air we breathe and our nose cannot detect them. . However, if a smell of moisture or mold irritates your nostrils, it is because the air is heavily loaded. You are in presence of a decomposition of organic materials surely major, think to analyze the air of your local to check its wholesomeness.

AIRTESTS evaluates air quality in all indoor environments, we can help you detect VOCs (volatile organic compounds), asbestos, bacteria, mold and dust that disturb occupants of places. By knowing the real state of the place, you will be better able to intervene to alleviate the problems related to the bad quality of the air, you will increase the feeling of well-being of your employees and the productivity of the in addition to reducing absenteeism

DENTAL CLINICS

Dentist in a dental clinic

Dental office air is contaminated daily by the spread of millions of microorganisms, including the use of rotating instruments and ultrasonic scaler. The amount of bio aerosols generated varies according to the type of dental treatment. A recent study found that in a dental clinic, staff and patients are exposed to dental bioaerosol concentrations up to 186,000 bacteria/m3. The infectious risks associated with dental bio aerosols are well known and can be greatly diminished by set up of aseptic protocols.

Dental bio aerosols and splashes form a real cloud projected towards the airways of the worker and the patient, and also on all dental equipment and surfaces close to the workstation. Dental bio aerosols are particles with a diameter of less than or equal to 50 μm and splashes are particles with a diameter greater than 50 μm. Because of their small size, bio aerosols remain suspended in the air for up to several hours. If they are not intercepted quickly, inhaled bio aerosols penetrate airways more or less deeply depending on their size; the larger diameter particles deposited at nasal fossae level, smaller diameter (≤ 5 μm) particules are found in the pulmonary alveoli and lead to infections or more serious effects (asthma, rhinitis, etc.). Splashes would therefore be the source of many eye or skin infections, while dental bio aerosols would cause infections of the otolaryngeal artery and respiratory tracts. In addition, various epidemiological studies suggest that dental bio aerosols may be responsible for the higher incidence of respiratory infections and Legionella pneumophila seropositivity.

Various way make it possible to guard against aerial contamination, among others wearing glasses and masks. Indeed, the polypropylene molded microfiber mask offers a efficiency filtration over 99%, and the wraparound glasses provide almost total protection of the eyes. Also, purging water pipes from the dental unit removes suspended bacteria as well as fragments from the biofilm and significantly reduce the amount of bio aerosols generated by dental treatment. As for the use of the high-speed oral suction device, it significantly reduces the formation and dispersion of bio aerosols in the dental office environment during treatment. However, there is no scientific evidence that a mouthwash with an antiseptic solution decreases the risk of contracting an infection in a dental office. It should be noted that a two-hour period without dental treatment can return to acceptable baseline levels of bio aerosols.

AIRTESTS evaluates air quality in all indoor environments, we can help you detect VOCs (volatile organic compounds), asbestos, bacteria, mold and dust that disturb occupants of places. By knowing the real state of the place, you will be better able to intervene to alleviate the problems related to the bad quality of the air, you will increase the feeling of well-being of your employees and the productivity of the in addition to reducing absenteeism

SPORTS ROOMS, YOGA, gyms, sports clubs and locker rooms for all gyms, pools and spas.

Image of a sports hall

Playing indoor sports or enjoying a relaxing time in a spa is good. And it's even better when we do not bring back a bacteria with us. Because promiscuity and perspiration force, the sports clubs are real nests with microbes. And especially the machines on which we spend ourselves. Treadmills, exercise bikes and dumbbells are true culture.

Sports halls and locker rooms are hot and humid environments; they therefore combine ideal conditions for the development and spread of bacteria and polluting particles. Good air filtration is essential to remove body odor from perspiration, but also for viruses and bacteria from customers who may be sick and contagious. We think in particular cases of flu or gastroenteritis. In addition, this environment, where athletes are confined, is conducive to the spread of VOC contained in machinery, in floor mats, and in some coatings or household products. Indeed, it would not come to anyone the idea of going to train and breathe full lungs in a crowded subway compartment; however, the quality of the air can be so poor.

The machines are perfect supports for the development of bacteria. They collect sweat and all bacteria expelled by the breath. Bactericidal products are often made available to customers for cleaning machines after use, but this simple gesture is often performed too superficially to be effective. Moreover, this does not prevent the diffusion of VOCs and particles, which volatilize by friction, which may be contained in certain plastic materials such as treadmills, and which, therefore, diffuse during their use.

In a gym, sometimes groups of 20 to 30 people move, spend and breathe deeply in the same room. The groups follow one another all day, and the concentration of bacteria suspended in the air is very high. Without an adapted and continuous air filter, all these people inevitably leave with the bacteria of their neighbors. The locker rooms are obviously not spared. Emissions of sprays and aerosols (perfumes and deodorants), and the humidity of showers, which spread bacteria, some of which are responsible for body odor, promote the formation of molds. This is the place where we go to get in shape and make us sick.

What about air quality in gyms and locker rooms? In 20 years, the turnover of the fitness market has multiplied by 10. A clear progression that is due to the diversification of the offer and strong increase in the number of members of the sports halls that see it a sure way to improve their health. But is it really better to train in theaters rather than outside, in peak pollution?

To avoid a cool and capricious weather, many people choose the indoor sport, attracted by complexes with good infrastructure and a variety of powerful devices. The desire to escape the cold and outdoor pollution can be understood ... except that, contrary to popular belief, these athletes will lock themselves in a place even more exposed to air pollution!

A study as a warning. Few studies have so far focused on the indoor air quality of gyms. To do this, researchers from the University of Lisbon in Portugal and Delft in the Netherlands have placed air quality monitoring equipment in eleven rooms throughout Lisbon. As a result, sensors measured pollutant levels at times when gyms were experiencing peak attendance in the late afternoon and evening. The detectors have been set to measure, for at least two hours each day, pollutant levels such as carbon monoxide and dioxide, ozone, or the levels of suspended particles, such as dust, and those of various chemicals released by carpets, cleaning products, furniture or paint, including formaldehyde.

The indicators revealed pollutant concentrations exceeding accepted limit values for ensuring good indoor air quality. The maximum levels were reached during aerobic classes in the evening, when many clients are gathered in a confined space, stir dust, sweat and blow heavily, producing carbon dioxide at each breath. High levels of carbon dioxide can be a hallmark of a poorly ventilated building, especially when these values remain high for hours, as was the case during the study.

As a result, the levels of these indicators are higher than the average at peak hours, causing a direct threat to customers. According to the study, the high concentration of dust and chemicals, such as formaldehyde, is quite disturbing. Only carbon monoxide levels did not meet concern standards. This combined with the pollution generated by the coating of infrastructure, products used for maintenance, it starts to do a lot ...

The sportsman is exposed to pollution. Poor indoor air quality in gyms can cause breathing problems. In addition, while exercising, amateurs inspire and breathe harder, and polluting particles penetrate their lungs deeply. Which is disturbing. So, what are the risks for athletes to breathe full lungs in sports halls? A scientific study brings elements of answer. With the arrival of the cold and long winter nights, many sportsmen abandon the jogging or other outdoor activity for the benefit of gyms and fitness. Even if the interest of practicing a physical activity to preserve one's health is undeniable, can we really practice indoor sport in all peace of mind? Poor ventilation and risks of breathing problems. According to the study, high concentrations of dust and chemicals, such as formaldehyde, are of the greatest concern. In excess, these substances can contribute to the development of asthma and other respiratory problems. However, almost all gyms in the study had concentrations of these substances well above accepted standards.

Rethink ventilation. According to a study conducted by researchers at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston) *, during a sneeze or a coughing fit, we expel a hot, moist air that hangs droplets of water, several sizes that contain pathogens responsible for diseases. Thanks to this cloud, viruses and bacteria can be expelled up to 6 meters away. The cloud composed of hot and humid air is lighter and therefore rises more easily, especially to the ceiling ventilation systems. Consequently, the germs are carried by air currents, contaminate all the rooms and settle indefinitely in the aeration systems. According to Lydia Bourouiba, lead author of the study and professor of civil and environmental engineering at MIT: "This discovery could call into question ventilation devices in hospitals, airplanes, but also in offices, which do not take into account this data. "

AIRTESTS evaluates air quality in all indoor environments, we can help you detect VOCs (volatile organic compounds), asbestos, bacteria, mold and dust that disturb occupants of places. By knowing the real state of the place, you will be better able to intervene to alleviate the problems related to the bad quality of the air, you will increase the feeling of well-being of your employees and the productivity of the in addition to reducing absenteeism