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Abstract

SEASONAL VARIATIONS IN THE AEROBIOLOGICAL PARAMETERS OF A STATE ARCHIVAL REPOSITORY IN INDIA

Salgo Merin Ricki Elenjikamalil and Varsha Kelkar-Mane*

ABSTRACT

There is the need for detailed studies of degradative microbial agents affecting archival materials in tropical countries like India. It has been observed in earlier studies that environment plays a key role in the preservation of archives. The State Archives under consideration is one of the biggest collections in the world. A seasonal quantitative as well as a qualitative study of microbial aerosols in the archival repository indicated a perennial prevalence of cellulolytic fungi as well as bacteria within the repository. Their existence could be well correlated to the geographical location of the archives and hence its environmental conditions. The qualitative analysis in terms of the isolates’ cellulolytic, proteolytic and amylolytic activities were indicative of their degradative abilities. Study revealed that the predominant fungal genera in the repository belonged to Aspergillus, Cladosporium and Penicillium. With 1000 CFU m-3 as a permissible limit for indoor air quality, a heterotopic count for fungi equating to 14.8 x 103 CFU m-3 and that of bacteria to 52.2 x 103 CFU m-3 in autumn presses the need to arrest the numbers so as to preserve the documents as well as to prevent any occupational hazards caused by these bioaerosols.

Keywords: Air micro-flora, archives, indoor air quality, environmental parameters.


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