Biohazard in air-conditioning systems installed in health facilities

  • Antonella Giorgio Dipartimento di Biologia, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II
  • Marco Guida Dipartimento di Biologia, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II
  • Michele del Gaudio INAIL- Avellino
  • Carmine Piccolo Azienda Ospedaliera San Giuseppe Moscati Avellino
  • Armando Masucci Azienda Ospedaliera San Giuseppe Moscati Avellino
  • Grazia Memmolo INAIL Direzione Territoriale di Avellino
  • Ernesto Russo INAIL Contarp Direzione Regionale per la Campania
Keywords: Air Quality; microbiology; maintenance.


The project "Biological hazard related to the operation of air-conditioning systems in sanitary environments in the province of Avellino" has had, as its main objective, the microbiological monitoring of the environments hospitals in order to evaluate the microbiological quality of the air, through procedures and criteria for sampling the environmental microbial flora. This procedure aims to assess and manage risks related to the hygiene of air treatment plants (UTA), which must be periodically subjected to checks, maintenance, cleaning and sanitisation in order to protect the health of Workers according to technical standards and national guidelines. Most important was the characterisation at the level of species and gender of the main microbiological contaminants present within the samples investigated. The entire trial was carried out on a temporal scale taking into account the frequency of the UTA maintenance activities and thus establishing the monitoring plan. In order to assess the effectiveness of the maintenance plan and the efficiency of the actions of sanitizations, withdrawals should be made at three different times or immediately after ordinary maintenance, halfway between the first and second Maintenance and immediately before the second maintenance. This way you can monitor the presence of different bacterial contaminants in time. The quantitative and qualitative analysis of bacteria, pathogens and not, in hospital environments aims to prevent the onset and spread of pathologies.
In particular, the monitoring of air handling units is of fundamental importance since such plants can cause the diffusion of many pollutants, coming from outside or inside, resulting from residues of materials from Construction, from remnants of plant and animal origin (pigeons, mice, insects) or moulds and bacteria that can contaminate the water and the surfaces inside the aeraulic plants. The molecular-based taxonomic characterization of the most representative species in the test specimens has as its main purpose the identification of any "sentinel" markers as well as indicators of biohazard.


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