Assessment of Airborne Micro-organisms (Bioaerosols) In The Vicinity of Some Waste Dumpsite in Umudike, Abia State (Published)
Environmental pollution from waste dump sites is a major concern to both environmental scientists and individual citizens. The study aimed at determining the microbial loads of air in the vicinity of various dumpsites in Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike using standard pour plate and spread plate microbiological techniques. Air samples were collected from selected dumpsites in the study area. The sampling time was 5 to 10 minutes interval and the sampling was 5 to 10meters at 26ºc and 37 º c temperature ranges for both bacterial and fungal load. The results shows that DUB for 37ºc nutrient agar count recorded the lowest microbial load of 15333.33±3785.94 (cfu/m3) at distance 5meters in 5mins while DUB had the highest microbial load of 82333.33±5859.47 (cfu/m3) in 5mins. DUA for 26ºc nutrient agar count in 10mins recorded the lowest microbial load mean± standard deviation values of 4366.67±3412.23 (cfu/m3) while DUB in 10mins has the highest microbial load of 47666.67±2516.61 (cfu/m3) at distance 5meters. At 37ºc potato dextrose agar, distance 5meters has the lowest microbial load value at DUC in 10mins 5633.33±57.74 (cfu/m3) while the highest microbial load count level is in DUB in 5mins 34166.67±47500.98 (cfu/m3). There is no significant increase in the mean values of DUA in 5min, DUA in 10mins and DUC in 5mins with respective values of 5166.67±1724.34, 4700.00±300.00 and 1866.67±665.83 (cfu/m3). The microbial loads of the air samples taken from the dumpsites were higher than the normal atmospheric concentration of the microorganisms as the reported average level of the microbes in the ambient air is 3.0 log10 cfu/ml. The bacterial genera isolated were Bacillus sp, B. subtilis, B. cereus, Staphylococcus sp, Streptococcus sp and Micrococcus sp., while the fungal isolates were Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus niger, Penicillium notatum and Fusarium sp. This study indicates that potential airborne pathogens not only abound in the vicinity of waste dumpsites but also decreased with increasing distance from the dump sites. It is therefore recommended that students should be educated on alternative waste management options, so that gradually the dumpsites can be closed.