Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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HEALTH STATUS, ENVIRONMENTAL LIVING CONDITIONS AND MICROBIAL INDOOR AIR QUALITY AMONG MIGRANT WORKER HOUSEHOLDS IN THAILAND.

A large number of migrants have move to cities in Thailand seeking employment. These people may be at increased risk for environmental health problems. We studied the health status, environmental living conditions and microbial indoor air quality (IAQ) among selected groups of migrant workers and their households in Mueang District, Samut Sakhon, central Thailand. We conducted a cross sectional study of 240 migrant workers and their households randomly selected by multistage sampling. The person responsible for hygiene at each studied household was interviewed using a structured questionnaire. Two indoor air samples were taken from each household (480 indoor air samples) to determine bacterial and fungal counts using a Millipore air tester; 240 outdoor air samples were collected for comparison. Ninety-nine point six percent of study subjects were Myanmar, 74.2% were aged 21-40 years, 91.7% had a primary school level education or lower and 53.7% had stayed in Thailand less than 5 years. Eight point three percent had a history of an underlying disease, 20.8% had a recent history of pulmonary tuberculosis in a family member within the previous year. Forty-three point eight percent had a current illness related to IAQ during a previous month. Twenty-one point three were current cigarette smokers, 15.0% were current alcohol consumers, and 5.0% exercises ≥3 times per week. Forty-nine point two percent never opened the windows of their bedrooms or living rooms for ventilation, 45% never cleaned their window screens, and 38.3% never put their pillows or mattresses in the sunlight. The mean(±SD) air bacterial count was 230(±229) CFU/m3 (outdoor air = 128±82 CFU/ m3), and the mean fungal count was 630(±842) CFU/m3 (outdoor air = 138±94 CFU/ m3). When the bacterial and fungal counts were compared with the guidelines of the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists, the bacterial counts in 6.5% of houses surveyed and the fungal counts in 28.8% of house surveyed were higher than the recommended levels (<500 CFU/m3). Bacterial and fungal counts in the sample households were not significantly correlated with household hygiene practice scores (p>0.05). There was a positive correlation between bacterial counts and fungal counts in household air samples, r=0.28, p<0.001.

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