Bacteria requires the same essential things that mold does to survive. Namely oxygen, moisture, and a food source. According to the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists, “most bacteria are free living and contain the necessary genetic information as well as energy producing and bio-synthetic systems for growth and reproduction.” This means that bacteria is self sustaining and once it has the opportunity to grow and live it is difficult to get rid of.
Bacteria is so widespread it is only possible to make general statements about their ecology. It is found on the tops of mountains, the bottom of the ocean, digested by animals, and in the ice of Antarctica. Not to mention occasionally in your home or office.
Sources of bacteria
Bacteria thrives more in the indoor environment than it does outdoors. In non-manufacturing environments bacteria can typically come from shed human skin and respiratory tracts.
Another source is in the natural environment. Water reservoirs are a perfect breeding ground for bacteria which often forms a bio-film on the surface.
The last source is outdoor air. Outdoor airborne bacteria typically doesn’t survive for long due to photo oxidants found in outdoor air.
Common types of Bacteria
- Streptococcus – Strep
- Staphylococcus – Staph
The bacteria Legionella is known to cause Legionnaire’s Disease. Most people infected with this bacteria have breathed in mists from a water source contaminated with Legionella. Legionella can be found in air conditioning towers, whirlpool spas, showers, decorative water falls, hot water tanks, etc.