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Chapter 73 : Introduction to Aerobiology
This chapter introduces the study of airborne microorganisms and their by-products, discusses indoor and anthropogenic outdoor sources of airborne microorganisms that affect human health and the environment, reviews the association of bioaerosols and indoor environmental quality, and briefly presents background information on airborne microorganisms as potential bioterrorism agents. The transport and ultimate settling of a bioaerosol are affected by its physical properties and by the environmental conditions that it encounters while airborne. The most important physical characteristics are the size, density, and shape of the droplets or particles, while the most significant environmental conditions are the temperature, relative humidity, and magnitude of air currents. Numerous anthropogenic activities serve as the origin of bioaerosols in outdoor environments, especially agricultural practices and wastewater treatment processes. In summary, interest in the populations of airborne microorganisms in agricultural and industrial settings, health care facilities, residences, offices, and classroom environments has increased in recent years. The threat of purposeful release of microorganisms as bioterrorism agents has prompted renewed interest in aerobiology, and research activity in this area of environmental microbiology has rapidly expanded.
Adverse effects associated with exposure to airborne microorganisms
Classification of biological agents with potential use in bioterrorism a
Sources and amplification sites of indoor biocontaminants and associated airborne or surface concentrations