Seven hospitals in Taipei failed the latest inspection of indoor air quality, primarily due to high concentrations of airborne bacteria, the Taipei Department of Environmental Protection said.
Twenty-three hospitals were inspected in the department’s autumn inspection of indoor air quality at medical facilities, with the bacterial concentration levels at seven of them exceeding the regulated standard of less than 1,500 colony-forming units per cubic meter of air (cfu/m3).
The seven hospitals are National Taiwan University Hospital, National Taiwan University Children’s Hospital, Taipei Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taipei Municipal Wanfang Hospital, Taipei Medical University Hospital, Taipei City Hospital’s Heping Fuyou Branch and Mackay Children’s Hospital, the department said.
“The bacterial concentration at these hospitals ranged from about 1,900cfu/m3 to about 2,800cfu/m3, which is more serious than we expected,” department Deputy Commissioner Lu Shih-chang (盧世昌) said.
The indoor concentration of carbon dioxide at Taipei City Hospital’s Heping Fuyou Branch was above the regulated standard of 1,000 parts per million.
“The concentration level of indoor airborne bacteria is an indicator for evaluating health risks,” Lu said. “It does not mean that people’s health will be harmed when levels exceed the regulated standard, but the risk of getting sick or suffering an allergic reaction is higher in such an environment.”
Many patients enter hospitals, so the bacterial concentration level is likely to increase, the department said, adding that wet or dirty areas are breeding grounds for harmful bacteria, fungi and other negative microforms, so training materials on air quality management compiled by the Environmental Protection Administration say that indoor environments should be dry, well ventilated and regularly disinfected.
The seven hospitals must improve their air quality within a given period or face fines of between NT$50,000 and NT$250,000, the department said, adding that hospitals should limit the total number of occupants and improve air ventilation systems to prevent high levels of carbon dioxide.
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