Bio-aerosol exposure in the workplace with specific emphasis on airborne infection control
The importance of indoor air quality in occupational health has gained momentum in recent years. As a result the NIOH Bioaerosol Monitoring Unit recently embarked on several research projects to study health effects due to exposure to airborne endotoxins and latex particles in the dental and health care industries.
Exposure to allergens in the bakery and spice industries is addressed through collaborative projects. Air sampling techniques for Mycobacterium tuberculosis have been added to the research agenda of the Unit recently.
The following projects are classified under this focus area:
- Detection of airborne Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Phase 1): quantitative measurement – Completed
- Detection of latex aero-allergens in dental schools – Completed
- Work related asthma associated with endotoxin exposure in dental workers in South Africa – Completed
- Concentrations of natural rubber allergens in gloves used by health professionals in South Africa – Completed
New areas of research include:
- Microbial levels on the hands of theatre staff in three Johannesburg hospitals – Completed
- Allergic sensitization ad work-related asthma among poultry workers in South Africa – Completed
- Assessment of Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation technology (UVGI) for controlling airborne Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) exposure in healthcare facilities in South Africa. – Ongoing
- Occupational health and safety challenges/exposures of informal workers in varying communities in Gauteng – Ongoing