Bioaerosols in the waterpipe cafés: genera, levels, and factors influencing their concentrations.


Department of Environmental Health Engineering, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. [Email]


This study was conducted in order to assess the exposure to bacterial and fungal bioaerosols in the air of waterpipe cafés (AWPCs), in the hose of waterpipe (HWP), and in the water bowl of the waterpipe (WBWP) and to investigate the factors influence increasing the contamination levels in waterpipe cafés in Ardabil. From all the 50 cafés studied, the samples were taken from air and from water contained in water bowl and hose for bacterial and fungal analyses. The results demonstrated that the mean numbers of bacteria and fungi in the indoor air of café, hose, and water bowl were 33.90 ± 14.86 and 25.24 ± 1.99 CFU/m3, 72.16 ± 29.55 and 72.78 ± 42.45 CFU/plate, 53.7 ± 25.46 and 25.26 ± 13.94 CFU/ml, respectively. The predominant bacterial genera in waterpipe cafés were Pseudomonas and Bacillus in air, Staphylococcus and Pseudomonas in the hose, and Staphylococcus and Pseudomonas in the water bowl, respectively. The predominant fungal species in waterpipe cafés were Penicillium and Cladosporium in air, yeast and Fusarium in the hose, and Paecilomyces and yeast in the water bowl, respectively. The results of statistical analysis showed that there was a significant relationship between the mean concentrations of bacterial aerosol and qualitative variables such as type of heating system, materials of wall and ceiling, traditional restaurants, interior supermarkets, moisturized walls, the number of people, area of cafés, and temperature. But there was no significant relationship between these variables and the mean concentration of fungal aerosols. The results also showed that the levels of bioaerosols were high in the air, hose, and water bowl of the waterpipe. Therefore, cafés can be a potential source for the transmission of pathogenic agents and increase the risk of respiratory diseases among waterpipe smoking individuals.


Ardabil,Bioaerosols,Indoor air,Respiratory diseases,Waterpipe cafés,