UV in Classrooms to Control Airborne Bacteria

A recent study from Su et al tests the effects of ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) on the amount of culturable airborne bacteria in elementary school classrooms. As expected, they found lower concentrations of these bacteria with UVGI treatment. Only the first page of the paper is available, unfortunately, so perhaps this is already addressed, but it …

Birth: The intersection of biology and buildings

As the oldest daughter of 3rd generation HVAC/plumbing/electrical small business owners, I held my share of flashlights on service calls and even wrapped ductwork one summer. I loved fiddling and building with the different tools, left-over bits of copper tubing, and other miscellaneous tidbits from jobs.  But my heart was more into asking questions about living …

Household air microbial community resembles that of household surface and occupant’s skin? Maybe, maybe not…

Household air microbial community resembles that of household surface and occupant’s skin? Maybe, maybe not… By Marcus Leung (Twitter @leungmarcus) Indoor microbial communities, such as those found in indoor air and indoor surfaces, have been shown to be closely connected to microbial assemblages on humans. Also, re-suspension of house dust from surfaces following routine residential …

Bleach and Its Association with Respiratory Infections

A 2015 paper from Casas et al (unfortunately no longer open access) investigated the effect of bleach on respiratory infections in young school-children. They analyzed information from Spain, the Netherlands, and Finland. Spain had the most instance of bleach use, which corresponded with a higher respiratory and related infections. On the other end of the spectrum, Finland …

The Built Aquatic Environment-

“If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water” -Loren Eiseley- Aquatic ecosystems can be placed into two discrete categories, native and managed. Native aquatic ecosystems may be influenced by human activities, in fact we’d be hard-pressed to find one that isn’t, but there is no intention to the influence. Managed aquatic …

Microbes Corroding Concrete

A recent study form Ling et al explored microbial community succession on concrete. They examined the concrete in two sewage manholes over a year using 16S rRNA sequencing. Concrete is a huge part of urban environments, and corrosive microbes eat it away. This causes structural damage, which is especially unwanted in sewage systems. The abstract for the …

Acquired Resistance to Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation

By Amanda Makowiecki Miller Research Group University of Colorado, Boulder With drug resistant bacteria becoming a growing problem, alternative methods are being pursued to decontaminate air and surfaces; ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) is one of these methods. UVGI uses short wavelength light in order to disrupt the genetic material of microorganisms, this disruption either kills …

Building science measurements in the Hospital Microbiome Project: Part 2

  Back in October 2013 I wrote a blog post here called “Building science measurements in the Hospital Microbiome Project: Part 1” where I described the types of building environmental and operational measurements we were making at the time as part of Jack Gilbert’s Sloan-funded Hospital Microbiome Project (Jeff Siegel at the University of Toronto also played a …