Location

Nessmith-Lane Atrium

Session Format

Poster Presentation

Research Area Topic:

Public Health & Well Being - Community & Practice-based Research

Co-Presenters, Co- Authors, Co-Researchers, Mentors, or Faculty Advisors

Nabanita Mukherjee (University of Memphis)

Bushra Shah (Georgia Southern University)

Subhrajit Saha (Georgia Southern University)

Pratik Banerjee (University of Memphis)

Atin Adhikari (Georgia Southern University)

Abstract

Organic farming has potentials to contribute substantially to future sustainable agricultural production by improving soil quality, pest control, and reduction of adverse environmental impacts in rural agricultural communities. On the other hand, application of natural farmyard manure may increase the microbial biomass in this environment and consequently microbial exposure levels among workers could be increased. To explore this possibility of excess exposure, particularly to airborne bacteria, we conducted air sampling at the vicinity of poultry and dairy sections of a large organic farm in a rural Georgia location. For air sampling, a Biostage viable cascade impactor was utilized, which comprises an inlet cone, precision-drilled 400-hole impactor stage, and a base that holds a standard-size agar plate (Tryptic soy agar). A high flow QuickTake 30 pump connected to this impactor pulls microorganisms in air at 28.3 L/min flow rate through the holes (jets) where they are collected on the agar surface for approx. ten minutes. After sampling, agar plates containing the samples were placed in an ice chest with blue ice and plates were incubated at 30å±2å¡C for 24 to 72 h. Colonies were counted and converted to airborne concentrations (CFU/m3) followed by positive hole corrections. For understanding overall microbial activity in the nearby soil surfaces, ATP levels were determined (using a kit and a luminometer) in swabbed dust samples collected from 10 cm2 soil surfaces. Average airborne concentrations of culturable bacteria near the poultry and dairy sections (n = 9) ranged from 125 to 297 CFU/m3 and 91 to 165 CFU/m3, respectively for airborne bacteria and means (average values) of 112 - 1359 RLU/sample (872.7 Std. Dev.) and 701 Ò 816 RLU/sample (515.1 Std. Dev.), respectively for ATP levels. Preliminary data showed that bacterial exposure levels in selected locations are generally lower than previous measurements in other farming environments conducted by other researchers.

Keywords

Georgia Southern University, Research Symposium, Airborne bacterial exposure, Workers' breathing height, Organic farm, Rural georgia

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Presentation Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

Start Date

4-16-2016 10:45 AM

End Date

4-16-2016 12:00 PM

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Apr 16th, 10:45 AM Apr 16th, 12:00 PM

Airborne Bacterial Exposure at Workers' Breathing Height in an Organic Farm of Rural Georgia

Nessmith-Lane Atrium

Organic farming has potentials to contribute substantially to future sustainable agricultural production by improving soil quality, pest control, and reduction of adverse environmental impacts in rural agricultural communities. On the other hand, application of natural farmyard manure may increase the microbial biomass in this environment and consequently microbial exposure levels among workers could be increased. To explore this possibility of excess exposure, particularly to airborne bacteria, we conducted air sampling at the vicinity of poultry and dairy sections of a large organic farm in a rural Georgia location. For air sampling, a Biostage viable cascade impactor was utilized, which comprises an inlet cone, precision-drilled 400-hole impactor stage, and a base that holds a standard-size agar plate (Tryptic soy agar). A high flow QuickTake 30 pump connected to this impactor pulls microorganisms in air at 28.3 L/min flow rate through the holes (jets) where they are collected on the agar surface for approx. ten minutes. After sampling, agar plates containing the samples were placed in an ice chest with blue ice and plates were incubated at 30å±2å¡C for 24 to 72 h. Colonies were counted and converted to airborne concentrations (CFU/m3) followed by positive hole corrections. For understanding overall microbial activity in the nearby soil surfaces, ATP levels were determined (using a kit and a luminometer) in swabbed dust samples collected from 10 cm2 soil surfaces. Average airborne concentrations of culturable bacteria near the poultry and dairy sections (n = 9) ranged from 125 to 297 CFU/m3 and 91 to 165 CFU/m3, respectively for airborne bacteria and means (average values) of 112 - 1359 RLU/sample (872.7 Std. Dev.) and 701 Ò 816 RLU/sample (515.1 Std. Dev.), respectively for ATP levels. Preliminary data showed that bacterial exposure levels in selected locations are generally lower than previous measurements in other farming environments conducted by other researchers.