Centre for Environmental Health and Sustainability

Bioaerosols and health

This project aims to better characterise bioaerosol exposures in the built environment and investigate associations with health outcomes (working with project 1, Indoor air and health). Bioaerosols are viable and non-viable airborne biological particles, such as fungal spores, bacteria, pollen, viruses and their fragments and by-products. They are ubiquitous and common in both indoor and outdoor built environments. However, information on the composition of bioaerosols within different built environments, and their impact on public health, remains limited. Traditional and modern approaches will be used to determine the types of microbes people are exposed to in different indoor (railway stations and homes) and outdoor (urban) built environments, and determine if these differ from rural environments. Bioaerosol exposure data along with other common pollutant data will then be linked with real-time syndromic health surveillance data to identify any associations between specific bioaerosols and health outcomes. The initial focus will be on fungi, which are associated with the development/exacerbation of asthma and allergy. Project 2 will also link with the indoor air PhD in Project 1, measuring indoor air contaminants including moulds in homes and relating these to respiratory symptoms.

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