Barontini, M.; Crognale, S.; Scarfone, A., Gallo, P.; Gallucci, F.; Petruccioli, M.; Pesciaroli, L.; Pari, L.
|Abstract in English:|
An experimental biofuel wood chip storage site was studied, as a potential fungal “reservoir,” by means of quantitative and qualitative assessments of airborne fungal spores.
Fungal load in the bio-aerosol, determined through active and passive methods, declined with the distance from wood piles. Occupational exposure was comparatively evaluated when two specific operational tasks, manual and mechanized handling, were performed. Under the conditions tested, the manual operators were more exposed to the airborne fungal spores (4864 580 CFU m3 air). The collected spores were identified as belonging to species of the genera Alternaria, Aspergillus, Penicillium, Fusarium, Cladosporium, Pleospora, Cochliobolus, Epicoccum, Absidia, and Trichoderma. Most prevalent
were the genera Alternaria and Cladosporium, with the highest percentages of occurrence (30 and 12%, respectively). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first work reporting the identification through molecular methods of airborne fungi released during the handling of wood chip biofuel biomass.