Assessment of bacterial bioaerosols and particulate matter characteristics in indoor air of dentistry clinics

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Environmental Health Engineering, Faculty of Health, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, Iran

2 Department of Biostatistics & Epidemiology, Faculty of Health, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, Iran

3 Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, Iran

4 Department of Environmental Health Engineering, Social Determinants of Health (SDH) Research Center, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, Iran


Objectives: Air pollutants in dentistry offices may cause problems for the health of staff and patients. Accordingly, the present study was performed to the assessment of bacterial bioaerosols and particulate matter (PM) characteristics in the indoor air of dentistry clinics.
Methods: The sampling points were restoration, endodontics, and prosthesis wards. The PM specimens were taken using Grimm Dust Monitor and the microbial specimens were taken using QuickTake 30.
Results: The maximum and minimum PM10 concentration across the different measure wards occurred as 70.31 and 30.32 μg/m3 in the Ketabchi Clinic restoration and its endodontics ward, respectively. The total number of bioaerosols was 2079. Gram‑positive Staphylococcus spp.(872), Gram‑positive Micrococcus spp.(706), and Gram‑negative Bacillus spp.(501) were present in the indoor air. The results showed a significant relationship for PM1 and PM2.5 in each sampling site.
Conclusions: The low PM and bacterial bioaerosols contamination can be due to the coincidence with coronavirus pandemic, as during this period, health and hygienic protocols have been strictly observed.


Nezam Mirzaei [Pubmed] [Google Scholar]


  1. Song J, Lu M, Lu J, Chao L, An Z, Liu Y, et al. Acute effect of ambient air pollution on hospitalization in patients with hypertension: A time-series study in Shijiazhuang, China. Ecotoxicology and environmental safety. 2019;170:286-92. doi:10.1016/j.ecoenv.2018.11.125 PMid:30530180
  2. Mohammadyan M, Keyvani S, Bahrami A, Yetilmezsoy K, Heibati B, Pollitt KJG. Assessment of indoor air pollution exposure in urban hospital microenvironments. Air Quality, Atmosphere & Health. 2019;12(2):151-9. doi:10.1007/s11869-018-0637-6
  3. Halek F. Vertical Profile of Particulate Matter Concentrations in Indoor Air (Case Study: Karaj, Iran). Particulate Science and Technology. 2015;33(6):617-20. doi:10.1080/02726351.2015.1016641
  4. Park S-Y, Byun E, Lee J, Kim S, Kim H. Air Pollution, Autophagy, and Skin Aging: Impact of Particulate Matter (PM10) on Human Dermal Fibroblasts. International journal of molecular sciences. 2018;19(9):2727. doi:10.3390/ijms19092727 PMid:30213068 PMCid:PMC6163910
  5. Zhu X, Qiu H, Wang L, Duan Z, Yu H, Deng R, et al. Risks of hospital admissions from a spectrum of causes associated with particulate matter pollution. Science of The Total Environment. 2019;656:90-100. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.11.240 PMid:30502738
  6. Mutlu EA, Comba IY, Cho T, Engen PA, Yazıcı C, Soberanes S, et al. Inhalational exposure to particulate matter air pollution alters the composition of the gut microbiome. Environmental pollution. 2018;240:817-30. doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2018.04.130 PMid:29783199 PMCid:PMC6400491
  7. Losacco C, Perillo A. Particulate matter air pollution and respiratory impact on humans and animals. Environmental Science and Pollution Research. 2018;25(34):33901-10. doi:10.1007/s11356-018-3344-9 PMid:30284710
  8. González-Delgado A, Shukla MK, DuBois DW, Flores-Márgez JP, Hernández Escamilla JA, Olivas E. Microbial and size characterization of airborne particulate matter collected on sticky tapes along US-Mexico border. Journal of Environmental Sciences. 2017;53:207-16. doi:10.1016/j.jes.2015.10.037 PMid:28372745
  9. Sun Y, Xu S, Zheng D, Li J, Tian H, Wang Y. Effects of haze pollution on microbial community changes and correlation with chemical components in atmospheric particulate matter. Science of The Total Environment. 2018;637-638:507-16. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.04.203 PMid:29754085
  10. Haas D, Galler H, Luxner J, Zarfel G, Buzina W, Friedl H, et al. The concentrations of culturable microorganisms in relation to particulate matter in urban air. Atmospheric Environment. 2013;65:215-22. doi:10.1016/j.atmosenv.2012.10.031
  11. Hong YJ, Huang YC, Lee IL, Chiang CM, Lin C, Jeng HA. Assessment of volatile organic compounds and particulate matter in a dental clinic and health risks to clinic personnel. Journal of environmental science and health Part A, Toxic/hazardous substances & environmental engineering. 2015;50(12):1205-14. doi:10.1080/10934529.2015.1055129 PMid:26301846
  12. Adhikari A, Kurella S, Banerjee P, Mitra A. Aerosolized bacteria and microbial activity in dental clinics during cleaning procedures. J Aerosol Sci. 2017;114:209-18. doi:10.1016/j.jaerosci.2017.09.019
  13. Han P, Li H, Walsh LJ, Ivanovski S. Splatters and Aerosols Contamination in Dental Aerosol Generating Procedures. 2021;11(4):1914. doi:10.3390/app11041914
  14. Rao RM, Shenoy N, Shetty V. Determination of efficacy of pre-procedural mouth rinsing in reducing aerosol contamination produced by ultrasonic scalers. Journal of Health and Allied Sciences NU. 2015;05(03):052-6. doi:10.1055/s-0040-1703913
  15. Cocârţă DM, Prodana M, Demetrescu I, Lungu PE, Didilescu AC. Indoor Air Pollution with Fine Particles and Implications for Workers' Health in Dental Offices: A Brief Review. Sustainability. 2021;13(2):599. doi:10.3390/su13020599
  16. Pasquarella C, Veronesi L, Castiglia P, Liguori G, Montagna MT, Napoli C, et al. Italian multicentre study on microbial environmental contamination in dental clinics: a pilot study. Science of The Total Environment. 2010;408(19):4045-51. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2010.05.010 PMid:20547411
  17. Liu M-H, Tung T-H, Chung F-F, Chuang L-C, Wan G-H. High total volatile organic compounds pollution in a hospital dental department. Environ Monit Assess. 2017;189(11):571. doi:10.1007/s10661-017-6265-z PMid:29044438 PMCid:PMC5691115
  18. Chuang C-Y, Cheng H-C, Yang S, Fang W, Hung P-C, Chuang S-Y. Investigation of the spreading characteristics of bacterial aerosol contamination during dental scaling treatment. Journal of Dental Sciences. 2014;9(3):294-6. doi:10.1016/j.jds.2014.06.002
  19. Kedjarune U, Kukiattrakoon B, Yapong B, Chowanadisai S, Leggat P. Bacterial aerosols in the dental clinic: effect of time, position and type of treatment. International dental journal. 2000;50(2):103-7. doi:10.1002/j.1875-595X.2000.tb00807.x PMid:10945190
  20. Al Maghlouth A, Al Yousef Y, Al Bagieh N. Qualitative and quantitative analysis of bacterial aerosols. The journal of contemporary dental practice. 2004;5(4):91-100. doi:10.5005/jcdp-5-4-91 PMid:15558094
  21. Zemouri C, Volgenant CMC, Buijs MJ, Crielaard W, Rosema NAM, Brandt BW, et al. Dental aerosols: microbial composition and spatial distribution. J Oral Microbiol. 2020;12(1):1762040. doi:10.1080/20002297.2020.1762040 PMid:32537096 PMCid:PMC7269059
  22. Soltanian M, Torabi S, Mohajeri P, Najafi F. Density of Airborne Bacterial Species in Dentistry Units in Urban Health Centers, Kermanshah, Iran. J Mazand Univ Med Sci. 2017;27(152):132-42.
  23. Lasemi E, Fayaz F, Navi F, Gharnizadeh K, Ahmadi B. Evaluation of Microbial aerosols in Dental departments of Islamic Azad University, Dental Branch, Tehran in 2009. Res-Dent-Sci. 2011;7(4):11-7.
  24. Malakootian M, Molazadeh P, Eskandarizadh A. Microbial and Fungal Contamination of Air at Dental Clinics and Dental Offices in Kerman. Tolooe Behdasht. 2015;13(5):13-24.
  25. Hobson RS, Pabary SB, Alamani K, Badminton K. Aerosols created by dental procedures in a primary care setting. 2020; 08.27.20183087. doi:10.1101/2020.08.27.20183087
  26. Nulty A, Lefkaditis C, Zachrisson P, Van Tonder Q, Yar R. A clinical study measuring dental aerosols with and without a high-volume extraction device. British Dental Journal. 2020. doi:10.1038/s41415-020-2274-3 PMCid:PMC7658616
  27. Bates AJ, Bates DR. Analysing air particle quantity in a dental primary care setting. 2020.08.12.20173450. doi:10.1101/2020.08.12.20173450
  28. Arsal S, Pekey B, Pekey H. Assessment of occupational exposure to fine particulate matter in dental prosthesis laboratories in Kocaeli, Turkey. Environ Monit Assess. 2020;192. doi:10.1007/s10661-020-08620-8 PMid:33006063