Every building appears to have its own unique microbiome, depending on how it is built and operated, who uses it and what they do there, said University of Oregon microbiologist Jessica Green, who helped pioneer the field. “We know microbes in buildings are relevant to human health,” she said. In hospitals, for example, the air that many patients breathe, recycled through heating and air-conditioning systems, concentrates human-related bacteria and potential pathogens, compared with patient rooms with open windows where outdoor air can circulate, according to Dr. Green’s 2012 study of Providence Milwaukie Hospital in Portland.
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