Skin squames contribute to ammonia and volatile fatty acid production from bacteria colonizing in air-cooling units with odor complaints

T. W. Ng, P. Y. Chan, T. T. Chan, Haoxiang WU, Ka Man LAI*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

One of the most notable Indoor Air Quality problems is odor emission. This study investigated the potential contribution of skin squames to the production of ammonia (NH3) and volatile organic acids (VFAs) by 7 bacteria isolated from air-cooling (AC) units with complaints of urine and body odors. Our previous study showed that keratinolytic activity is higher in AC units with odor complaints than those without. In the offices where these units are located, the most likely source of keratins is from human skin squames. Most bacteria can produce NH3 and VFAs in the skin squame culture. Some correlations between the levels of NH3, NH+4, VFAs, and keratinolytic activity were found. The odor production pathway with skin squames was proposed. Staphylococcus haemolyticus was abundant in the AC units with odor problems and had a high level of keratinolytic activity in addition to odor production. For long-term odor control, it is important to reduce the level of skin squames entering the AC units.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)258-265
Number of pages8
JournalIndoor Air
Volume28
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

User-Defined Keywords

  • air-conditioning
  • ammonia
  • building microbiology
  • Indoor Air Quality
  • odor control
  • skin squames
  • volatile fatty acids

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Skin squames contribute to ammonia and volatile fatty acid production from bacteria colonizing in air-cooling units with odor complaints'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this