Assessment of bioaerosol contamination (bacteria and fungi) in the largest urban wastewater treatment plant in the Middle East

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2015 Oct;22(20):16014-21. doi: 10.1007/s11356-015-4793-z. Epub 2015 Jun 11.


Bioaerosol concentration was measured in wastewater treatment units in south of Tehran, the largest wastewater treatment plant in the Middle East. Active sampling was carried out around four operational units and a point as background. The results showed that the aeration tank with an average of 1016 CFU/m(3) in winter and 1973 CFU/m(3) in summer had the greatest effect on emission of bacterial bioaerosols. In addition, primary treatment had the highest impact on fungal emission. Among the bacteria, Micrococcus spp. showed the widest emission in the winter, and Bacillus spp. was dominant in summer. Furthermore, fungi such as Penicillium spp. and Cladosporium spp. were the dominant types in the seasons. Overall, significant relationship was observed between meteorological parameters and the concentration of bacterial and fungal aerosols.

Keywords: Air contamination; Bioaerosols; Tehran; Wastewater treatment plant.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aerosols / analysis*
  • Air Microbiology*
  • Bacteria / classification
  • Bacteria / genetics
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification*
  • Cities
  • Fungi / classification
  • Fungi / genetics
  • Fungi / isolation & purification*
  • Middle East
  • Seasons
  • Waste Water / microbiology*
  • Water Purification / instrumentation*


  • Aerosols
  • Waste Water