Legionella pneumophila as a Health Hazard to Miners: A Pilot Study of Water Quality and QMRA
Mraz, Alexis L.
Weir, Mark H.
Beamer, Paloma I.
Verhougstraete, Marc P.
AffiliationUniv Arizona, Mel & Enid Zuckerman Coll Publ Hlth, Dept Commun Environm & Policy
DALYs (disability adjusted life years)
air quality ventilation
MetadataShow full item record
CitationMadera-García, V.; Mraz, A.L.; López-Gálvez, N.; Weir, M.H.; Werner, J.; Beamer, P.I.; Verhougstraete, M.P. Legionella pneumophila as a Health Hazard to Miners: A Pilot Study of Water Quality and QMRA. Water 2019, 11, 1528.
Rights© 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
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AbstractLegionella pneumophila (L. pneumophila), the causative agent of legionellosis, is an aquatic bacterium that grows in warm water. Humans are only presented with a health risk when aerosolized water containing L. pneumophila is inhaled. In mining operations, aerosolized water is used as dust control and as part of the drilling operations, a currently ignored exposure route. This study characterized L. pneumophila concentrations in the mine's non-potable water and the relationship between L. pneumophila and chlorine concentrations. These concentrations informed a quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) model to estimate the infection risk to miners exposed to aerosolized water containing L. pneumophila. Fourteen water samples were collected from seven locations at a mine and analyzed for temperature, pH, chlorine, and L. pneumophila serogroup. Most samples (93%) tested positive for L. pneumophila cells. The faucet from the sprinkler system on the adit level (entrance to the underground mine levels) showed the highest concentration of L. pneumophila (8.35 x 10(4) MPN/L). Disability adjusted life years (DALYs) were estimated in the QMRA model and showed that the risk for all miners was significantly lower (p < 0.0001) with the ventilation system on than when the system was off. Our study showed that the use of a ventilation system at the adit level of the mine reduced the risk of infection with aerosolized L. pneumophila.
NoteOpen access journal
VersionFinal published version
SponsorsSouthwest Environmental Health Sciences Center [NIEHS P30 ES006694]