Public Health Implications of Fungi-Aerosol Contamination around a Major Dumpsite in Bayelsa State, Nigeria
Atmospheric pollution is a major global environmental issue. Improper waste management is among the leading cause of environment contamination in many cities in developing nations. Improper waste management leads to the release of bio-aerosol into the atmosphere. Some microbial air contaminants are known to cause diseases in human especially on immune-compromised individuals. This study evaluates the fungi-aerosol around waste dumpsite in Bayelsa State, Nigeria. Triplicate Potatoes dextrose agar was exposed for 10 minutes around a major dumpsite in Bayelsa State at a height of 1meter. The fungi density and diversity were determined following standard microbiological procedures. Results showed that the total fungi-aerosol counts ranged from 0.0004 – 0.0094 CFU/min-m2 in dry season and 0.0001 – 0.0036 CFU/min-m2 in wet season. There were statistical variations (p<0.05) across months, distances, and interaction between months and distances. Of the 16 fungi diversity isolated, Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus niger, Penicillium and Rhizopus species had the highest occurring frequency in both seasons of study. Again, the isolates showed that the diversity decreased with distance (200 ->1000 ft) away from the main dumpsite. Similarity interaction between each of the distances ranged from 42.86 – 88.89% and 36.36 – 82.35% for dry and wet seasons, respectively with index above critical level of significance (50%) in most cases. Some fungi species are known to produce toxins that cause diseases in humans. Hence, personal safety measures including effective treatment of waste by appropriate agencies before disposal to reduce exposure to bioaerosols to scavengers and others are needed.
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