The Rate of Airborne Fungal Contamination in Yazd Textile Factories in 2007

Document Type: Original Article

Authors

1 Associate Professor, Department of Parasitology & Mycology, School of Medicine, Yazd Shaheed Sadooghi University of Medical Sciences, Yazd, Iran

2 Instructor, School of Health, Yazd Shaheed Sadooghi University of Medical Sciences, Yazd, Iran

3 Instructor of Biostatistics, School of Health, Yazd Shaheed Sadooghi University of Medical Sciences, Yazd, Iran

4 Bachelor of Laboratory Sciences, Paramedical School, Yazd Shaheed Sadooghi University of Medical Sciences, Yazd, Iran

5 Bachelor of Occupational Health, School of Health, Yazd Shaheed Sadooghi University of Medical Sciences, Yazd, Iran

Abstract

Background & Aims: Fungi are among the most important biological agents in air pollution. Textile factories are known as high risk places for contamination with fungal spores and metabolites. Since Yazd is one of the most important textile industry centers, this study was conducted to determine the concentration and types of airborne fungi in Yazd textile factories. Methods: A total of 235 indoor air samples from 30 randomly selected Yazd textile factories in 2007 were collected using air sampler pumps with appropriate filters. The concentration and types of isolated fungi were determined according to NIOSH standard technique for isolation of biologic agents. Data were analyzed based on the survey objectives, using statistical tests. Results: Overall, 958 colonies from 16 different genera of fungi were isolated and among them Penicillium, Aspergillus and Cladosporium were known as the most prevalent isolated fungi. The fungal contamination rates were higher in the small factories than bigger factories and also in few factories, which usually used natural based fiber compared to those used synthetic fiber (P=0.0001). The finishing areas had more contamination than the other parts and working areas with the topical air conditioner had lower contamination (P= 0.034). There was a direct relationship between the amount of moisture and air fungal contamination (P=0.046), but there was no significant correlation between the whole fungal contamination rates and temperature. Conclusion: The results showed a high rate of contamination to fungal viable cultivable spores in Yazd textile factories. The presence of opportunistic fungi in these places, especially in summer is hazardous for immunosuppresed workers or those with malignancies or diabetes.

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