facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Study: N.Y. subway air microbes similar to those of fresh air

April 26, 2013 at 12:05 AM   |   Comments

| License Photo
BOULDER, Colo., April 26 (UPI) -- The microbial population in the air of the New York subway system is nearly identical to that of ambient air on the city streets, researchers say.

The results "are strong testimony for the efficiency of the train pumping system for ventilation," principal investigator Norman R. Pace of the University of Colorado, Boulder, said in a statement. "I was impressed by the similarity of subway and outdoor air."

The wind one feels while walking across a subway grate in New York as the subway clatters beneath also demonstrates just how effective that system is, Pace said.

The only obvious differences in the subway's microbial population are the somewhat higher proportion of skin microbiota, and the doubled density of the fungal population, which Pace suggested might be due to rotting wood.

The researchers used a high-tech mechanism to collect air at around 300 liters per minute, a big jump on the previous state of the art, which swallowed 12 liters per minute. That enabled collecting sufficient volume of air to take the bacterial census within 20 minutes, instead of hours, Pace said.

Pace said the microbial content of subway air was unknown before now.

The findings were published in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
Richmond hospital patient tests negative for Ebola Richmond hospital patient tests negative for Ebola
2
CDC's Frieden admits uncertainty over Texas Ebola transmission CDC's Frieden admits uncertainty over Texas Ebola transmission
3
Changing the names of drugs to reflect their effects Changing the names of drugs to reflect their effects
4
Morning exercise helps calm ADHD symptoms in children Morning exercise helps calm ADHD symptoms in children
5
Yoga guru BKS Iyengar dies at 95 Yoga guru BKS Iyengar dies at 95
Trending News
Around the Web
x
Feedback