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Revista Costarricense de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 1409-1429


CABALLERO, Magally  and  ML. CARTIN, Victor. Calidad del aire en dos centros hospitalarios y ocho clínicas veterinarias en Costa Rica. Rev. costarric. salud pública [online]. 2007, vol.16, n.30, pp.17-26. ISSN 1409-1429.

Given that 80% to 90% of our time is spent indoors (1), air quality in closed or intradomiciliar spaces is one of the most important factors in our quality of life. In Latin America, this topic has not been very well studied and Costa Rica is not the exception. Thus, there are no publications which allow the study of indoor air quality in different either human (hospitals, schools, supermarkets, offices, factories and the like) or veterinary centers (hospitals, clinics, offices). In this article we evaluate indoor air quality in eight veterinary clinics and in two public hospitals in Costa Rica; these studies were carried out in 2003 and 2004. We postulate a mechanism whereby indoor air quality can affect the health of the dwellers of these spaces, be they patients or workers. This study has allowed an initial discussion of this topic and identified internal contamination levels for substances such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, ventilation systems and bacterial as wells as fungal concentrations. Hopefully, this knowledge will permit corrective measures to be offered to the problems detected. It was found that, in general, microbial contamination of the environment is acceptable except for particulate material. Data are offered for both hu- man hospitals as well as veterinary centers. In general, in both sites, occupational practices cause an increase in the concentration of contaminating vectors

Keywords : Air pollution; atmospheric microbiology; carbon dioxide; carbon monoxide; bacteria; fungi; Costa Rica.

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