Microbial aerosol particles in four seasons of sanitary landfill site: Molecular approaches, traceability and risk assessment

Xuesong Guo , Lin Li , Jiawei Ma , Kaixiong Yang , Fengguang Chai , Junxin Liu


Received September 29, 2020,Revised , Accepted January 12, 2021, Available online March 04, 2021

Volume 33,2021,Pages 120-133

Landfill sites are regarded as prominent sources of bioaerosols for the surrounding atmosphere. The present study focused on the emission of airborne bacteria and fungi in four seasons of a sanitary landfill site. The main species found in bioaerosols were assayed using high-throughput sequencing. The SourceTracker method was utilized to identify the sources of the bioaerosols present at the boundary of the landfill site. Furthermore, the health consequences of the exposure to bioaerosols were evaluated based on the average daily dose rates. Results showed that the concentrations of airborne bacteria in the operation area (OPA) and the leakage treatment area (LTA) were in the range of (4684 ± 477)–(10883 ± 1395) CFU/m3 and (3179 ± 453)–(9051 ± 738) CFU/m3, respectively. The average emission levels of fungal aerosols were 4026 CFU/m3 for OPA and 1295 CFU/m3 for LTA. The landfill site received the maximum bioaerosol load during summer and the minimum during winter. Approximately 41.39%– 86.24% of the airborne bacteria had a particle size of 1.1 to 4.7 µm, whereas 48.27%– 66.45% of the airborne fungi had a particle size of more than 4.7 µm. Bacillus sp., Brevibacillus sp., and Paenibacillus sp. were abundant in the bacterial population, whereas Penicillium sp. and Aspergillus sp. dominated the fungal population. Bioaerosols released from the working area and treatment of leachate were the two main sources that emerged in the surrounding air of the landfill site boundary. The exposure risks during summer and autumn were higher than those in spring and winter.

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