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Moscow Metro Causes Pimples
July 18, 2007 16:59

It is widely known that crowded places are a favourable environment for generation of bacteria. In order to find how dangerous for health Moscow metro is Russian scientists have collected bacteriological samples from the metro halls, escalators, and subway trains. The results have shown that Moscow metro teems with bacteria that may cause some health problems in people with a suppressed immune system.

At the same time the average concentration of microbes in Moscow subway does not exceed the maximum allowable level, although it is still considerable. According to Alexander Mikheev, specialist of EcoStandard organization, no violations of metro exploitation sanitary rules have been found. Experts claim that the underground transport does not pose a danger to people with strong stamina.

Almost in all metro station the scientists have found Bacillus Subtilis – this bacterium is harmless for human health and influences the process of organic substances and food decay. In circular lines of Moscow subway the scientists have also registered Sarcina Alba – a bacterium that may cause skin irritation, itching, and pimples in people with a suppressed immune system.

Proteus Vulgaris was found in such metro stations as VDNKH and Business Centre (Delovoi Tsentr). These microorganisms belong to the normal intestinal flora but in hot weather may become a reason for food poisoning and purulent stigmas. However, as it has turned out, the concentration of these bacteria in the metro stations is quite inconsiderable.

Apart from microbes the experts have also found some areas of Aspergillus dwelling – spores of this fungus may cause rough breathing and even provoke asthmatic attacks.

Taking into account all the facts mentioned above, infectiologists strongly recommend to avoid eating in the subway, not to sit next to the homeless, and not to take a seat after them.

The Moscow authorities constantly take some measures aimed at fighting with microbes. Several air cleansing systems based on ultraviolet emission have been set in the large interchange spots. The principle of such systems` work reminds air-conditioner: a ventilator pumps air into a special light-tight reservoir with an ultraviolet lamp inside where the air is disinfected.

When the trains come to the shed, metro workers place ultraviolet lamps in all carriages for disinfection of the air and all surfaces: walls, seats, and grab handles. Such procedure normally takes 20 minutes per carriage, and during this time eight lamps kill all microbes.

Stations, interchange lines, and staff rooms of the Moscow subway are being equipped with special systems that reduce the risk of catching airborne infections.

Russian infectiologists advise subway passengers to stand (or seat) near open windows or near the walls and doors in carriages, because the concentration of microbes in poorly ventilated rooms is much higher. It is also advised to avoid breathing deeply, as 6-minute standing near a source of infection is enough for catching flu.

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Lavrentyeva Natalya

Tags: Russian metro Moscow Metro    

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