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J Air Waste Manag Assoc. 2013 Jul;63(7):796-805.

Disinfection efficiency of chlorine dioxide gas in student cafeterias in Taiwan.

Author information

1
Department of Environmental Resource Management, Chia-Nan University of Pharmacy and Science, Tainan 71710, Taiwan, Republic of China. hsuhsu@mail.chna.edu.tw

Abstract

In Taiwan, the food and drink requirements of students and faculty members are met by student cafeterias. The air quality within these cafeterias should satisfy the guidelines laid down by the Taiwan Environmental Protection Agency (Taiwan EPA). Accordingly, this study performed an experimental investigation into the efficiency of two different gaseous chlorine dioxide (ClO2) treatments in disinfecting a local student cafeteria, namely a single, one-off application and a twice-daily application. In both cases, the ClO2 was applied using strategically placed aerosol devices. The air quality before and after disinfection was evaluated by measuring the bioaerosol levels of bacteria and fungi. Moreover, a stepwise discriminant analysis method was applied for predicting the residual concentrations of bacteria and fungi, as a function of the environmental parameters and the ClO2 concentration. The experimental results showed that the average background levels of bacteria and fungi prior to ClO2 disinfection were 972.5 +/- 623.6 and 1534.1 +/- 631.8 colony-forming units (CFU)/m3, respectively. A single ClO2 application was found to reduce the bacterial and fungal concentration levels by as much as 65% and 30%, respectively. By contrast, a twice-daily ClO2 application was found to reduce the bacterial and fungal concentration levels by as much as 74% and 38%, respectively. The statistical analysis results showed that the residual bacterial concentration level was determined primarily by the number of individuals present in the cafeteria, the temperature, and the ClO2 concentration, whereas the residual fungal concentration level was determined mainly by the temperature, the total number of suspended particles, and the ClO2 concentration. Thus, the integrated results suggest that the air quality guidelines prescribed by the Taiwan EPA for student cafeteria can best be achieved by applying ClO2 twice daily using an appropriate deployment of aerosol devices.

IMPLICATIONS:

ClO2 gas can destroy all manner of microorganisms, including bacteria, spores, fungi, viruses, and even protozoans, in indoor environments. Moreover, it is popularly known that bioaerosols are able to grow and propagate on a wide variety of building materials and indoor surfaces. Thus, through optimal ClO2 disinfection methodology, the indoor microbial contaminants can be decreased and the residual concentrations of bacteria and fungi as a function of the environmental parameters and the ClO2 concentration can be predicted via some statistical techniques.

PMID:
23926849
DOI:
10.1080/10962247.2012.735212
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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