Gabriele Meyer, Bernd-Fred Schepers: Does air conditioning impact on hyg...

Start2007Gabriele Meyer, Bernd-Fred ...


According to observations by occupational health physicians, nearly 50 % of the seamen on German vessels will get diseases of the upper respiratory tract. An impact of the air-conditioning systems on these diseases has been suggested.


To examine the hygienic quality of indoor air on seagoing vessels, a pilot study was initiated by the See-Berufsgenossenschaft.


Air samples were taken on-site at different sampling sites and analysed for the occurrence of microorganisms.


Bacteria showed the highest cell numbers and the highest distribution in indoor air on vessels, whereby the maximum level was determined in the air of crew cabins. The identification of bacteria showed that beside common airborne species, pathogens existed.


Air-conditioning seems to influence the quality of indoor air on seagoing vessels. Interim results of the study indicate that regular maintenance of air-conditioning systems is essential.

Key words:

air-conditioning system, bacteria, fungi, indoor air, seagoing vessel

See-Berufsgenossenschaft, Germany
Correspondence to:
Dr. Gabriele Meyer,
See-Berufsgenossenschaft, Reimerstwiete 2, D-20457 Hamburg,
phone: +49 (0)40 36 13 77 43, fax: +49 (0)40 36 13 73 33,