The air we breathe contains microorganisms that can cause infectious respiratory diseases. After two occupants of an apartment were diagnosed with influenza in February of 2013, efforts were made to detect and isolate airborne influenza virus using two different types of active air samplers: a Sioutas Personal Cascade Impactor Sampler (PCIS) and an SKC BioSampler. The PCIS collects size-fractionated particles by impaction on polytetrafluoroethylene filters, whereas the SKC BioSampler collects airborne particles in liquid media. Influenza H3N2 virus was collected by both types of air samplers. The PCIS collected a range of particle sizes containing influenza virus near one of the sick individuals but only ultrafine particles when the samplers were positioned farther away. Viable virus was present in the liquid collection media of the SKC BioSampler and some PCIS filters. These findings suggest that influenza patients produce ultrafine aerosol particles that contain viable virus.
A unique agar drum sampler is described which indicates, continuously, the number of viable, bacterial particles per unit volume of air at the time and point of sampling. By selection of the timer and the sampling rate the sampler is suitable for quite a wide range of concentration and time. An impaction line of 484 in. greatly increases the capacity of this device over slit samplers and other instruments designed to give time-concentration data for viable airborne particles. This sampler should prove useful for: (i) monitoring airborne bacteria in hospitals, public places, and food and industrial plants; (ii) decay rate studies of bacterial aerosols; (iii) evaluation of aerial germicides; (iv) determination of effectiveness of air conditioning systems in removing airborne bacteria; and (v) many other studies in aerobiology.
Three different methods of estimating airborne bacteria were compared. An Anderson sampler, a slit sampler, an impinger, and filter samplers with gelatine filters or membrane filters were tested for collection efficiency. The comparisons were made in laboratory experiments with an aerosol of Staphylococcus epidermidis or Serratia marcescens, in field experiments in two different industries, i.e., cotton mill and sewage plant, and in experiments with skin fragment sampling. Experiments were also performed estimating the total number of viable microorganisms on the airborne particles. The Andersen sampler gave the highest bacterial counts in all environments tested. The slit sampler gave statistically lower counts only in the aerosol experiments and cotton mill experiments, where the size of the majority of the particles carrying visible bacteria was 2 to 6 micrometers or smaller. In the sewage plant and skin fragment experiments, where the particles were mainly 5 micrometers or larger, the difference was not significant. The filters were efficient in sampling in skin fragment experiments only. With the agar impingement method, the total viable cell count showed a rising index value with increasing particle size. A mean of 13 bacteria was found per particle in the cotton mill, a mean of 24 in the sewage plant, and a mean of 147 in skin fragment experiments.
The importance of the aerosol mode for transmission of influenza is unknown. Understanding the role of aerosols is essential to developing public health interventions such as the use of surgical masks as a source control to prevent the release of infectious aerosols. Little information is available on the number and size of particles generated by infected persons, which is partly due to the limitations of conventional air samplers, which do not efficiently capture fine particles or maintain microorganism viability. We designed and built a new sampler, called the G-II, that collects exhaled breath particles that can be used in infectivity analyses. The G-II allows test subjects to perform various respiratory maneuvers (i.e. tidal breathing, coughing, and talking) and allows subjects to wear a mask or respirator during testing. A conventional slit impactor collects particles > 5.0 μm. Condensation of water vapor is used to grow remaining particles, including fine particles, to a size large enough to be efficiently collected by a 1.0 μm slit impactor and be deposited into a buffer-containing collector. We evaluated the G-II for fine particle collection efficiency with inert particle aerosols and evaluated infective virus collection using influenza A virus aerosols. Testing results showed greater than 85% collection efficiency for particles greater than 50nm and influenza virus collection comparable with a reference SKC BioSampler®. The new design will enable determination of exhaled infectious virus generation rate and evaluate control strategies such as wearing a surgical type mask to prevent the release of viruses from infected persons.
Studies that seek to associate reduced human health with exposure to occupational and environmental aerosols are often hampered by limitations in the exposure assessment process. One limitation involves the measured exposure metric itself. Current methods for personal exposure assessment are designed to estimate the aspiration of aerosol into the human body. Since a large proportion of inhaled aerosol is subsequently exhaled, a portion of the aspirated aerosol will not contribute to the dose. This leads to variable exposure misclassification (for heterogenous exposures) and increased uncertainty in health effect associations. Alternatively, a metric for respiratory deposition would provide a more physiologically relevant estimate of risk. To address this challenge, we have developed a method to estimate the deposition of aerosol in the human respiratory tract using a sampler engineered from polyurethane foam. Using a semi-empirical model based on inertial, gravitational, and diffusional particle deposition, a foam was engineered to mimic aerosol total deposition in the human respiratory tract. The sampler is comprised of commercially available foam with fiber diameter = 49.5 μm (equivalent to industry standard 100 PPI foam) of 8 cm thickness operating at a face velocity of 1.3 m s−1. Additionally, the foam sampler yields a relatively low-pressure drop, independent of aerosol loading, providing uniform particle collection efficiency over time.
aerosols; exposure estimation; gravimetric analysis
Cascade impactors, operating on the principle of inertial size separation in (ideally) laminar flow, are used to determine aerodynamic particle size distributions (APSDs) of orally inhaled product (OIP) aerosols because aerodynamic diameter can be related to respiratory tract deposition. Each stage is assumed typically to be an ideal size fractionator. Thus, all particles larger than a certain size are considered collected and all finer particles are treated as penetrating to the next stage (a step function stage efficiency curve). In reality, the collection efficiency of a stage smoothly increases with particle size as an “S-shaped” curve, from approximately 0% to 100%. Consequently, in some cases substantial overlap occurs between neighboring stages. The potential for bias associated with the step-function assumption has been explored, taking full resolution and two-stage abbreviated forms of the Andersen eight-stage nonviable impactor (ACI) and the next-generation pharmaceutical impactor (NGI) as example apparatuses. The behavior of unimodal, log-normal APSDs typical of OIP-generated aerosols has been investigated, comparing known input values to calculated values of central tendency (mass median aerodynamic diameter) and spread (geometric standard deviation, GSD). These calculations show that the error introduced by the step change assumption is larger for the ACI than for the NGI. However, the error is sufficiently small to be inconsequential unless the APSD in nearly monodisperse (GSD ≤1.2), a condition that is unlikely to occur with realistic OIPs. Account may need to be taken of this source of bias only for the most accurate work with abbreviated ACI systems.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1208/s12249-013-9936-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
cascade impactor; inhaler aerosol; inhaler testing; size distribution
A study of the flow regime in the commercial Andersen sampler revealed defects in the sampling of the larger airborne particles. Satisfactory sampling was obtained by redesigning the hole pattern of the top stages and adding one more stage to extend the range of the instrument. A new, rational hole pattern is suggested for the lower stages. With both patterns a special colony-counting mask can be used to facilitate the assay. A calibration of the modified system is presented which enables particle size distribution curves to be drawn from the colony counts.
Air pollution, mainly from combustion, is one of the leading global health risk factors. A susceptible group is the more than 200 million people worldwide suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). There are few data on lung deposition of airborne particles in patients with COPD and none for combustion particles.
To determine respiratory tract deposition of diesel combustion particles in patients with COPD during spontaneous breathing.
Ten COPD patients and seven healthy subjects inhaled diesel exhaust particles generated during idling and transient driving in an exposure chamber. The respiratory tract deposition of the particles was measured in the size range 10–500 nm during spontaneous breathing.
The deposited dose rate increased with increasing severity of the disease. However, the deposition probability of the ultrafine combustion particles (< 100 nm) was decreased in COPD patients. The deposition probability was associated with both breathing parameters and lung function, but could be predicted only based on lung function.
The higher deposited dose rate of inhaled air pollution particles in COPD patients may be one of the factors contributing to their increased vulnerability. The strong correlations between lung function and particle deposition, especially in the size range of 20–30 nm, suggest that altered particle deposition could be used as an indicator respiratory disease.
Lung deposition; Toxicity; Health effects; Air pollution; Agglomerate; Nanoparticles; Aerosol; COPD; Diesel exhaust
Influenza is thought to be communicated from person to person by multiple pathways. However, the relative importance of different routes of influenza transmission is unclear. To better understand the potential for the airborne spread of influenza, we measured the amount and size of aerosol particles containing influenza virus that were produced by coughing. Subjects were recruited from patients presenting at a student health clinic with influenza-like symptoms. Nasopharyngeal swabs were collected from the volunteers and they were asked to cough three times into a spirometer. After each cough, the cough-generated aerosol was collected using a NIOSH two-stage bioaerosol cyclone sampler or an SKC BioSampler. The amount of influenza viral RNA contained in the samplers was analyzed using quantitative real-time reverse-transcription PCR (qPCR) targeting the matrix gene M1. For half of the subjects, viral plaque assays were performed on the nasopharyngeal swabs and cough aerosol samples to determine if viable virus was present. Fifty-eight subjects were tested, of whom 47 were positive for influenza virus by qPCR. Influenza viral RNA was detected in coughs from 38 of these subjects (81%). Thirty-five percent of the influenza RNA was contained in particles >4 µm in aerodynamic diameter, while 23% was in particles 1 to 4 µm and 42% in particles <1 µm. Viable influenza virus was detected in the cough aerosols from 2 of 21 subjects with influenza. These results show that coughing by influenza patients emits aerosol particles containing influenza virus and that much of the viral RNA is contained within particles in the respirable size range. The results support the idea that the airborne route may be a pathway for influenza transmission, especially in the immediate vicinity of an influenza patient. Further research is needed on the viability of airborne influenza viruses and the risk of transmission.
Multiple factors influence the viability of aerosolized bacteria. The delivery of aerosols is affected by chamber conditions (humidity, temperature, and pressure) and bioaerosol characteristics (particle number, particle size distribution, and viable aerosol concentration). Measurement of viable aerosol concentration and particle size is essential to optimize viability and lung delivery. The Madison chamber is widely used to expose small animals to infectious aerosols.
A multiplex sampling port was added to the Madison chamber to measure the chamber conditions and bioaerosol characteristics. Aerosols of three pathogens (Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis) were generated under constant conditions and their bioaerosol characteristics were analyzed. Airborne microbes were captured using an impinger or BioSampler. The particle size distribution of airborne microbes was determined using an aerodynamic particle sizer (APS). Viable aerosol concentration, spray factor (viable aerosol concentration/inoculum concentration), and dose presented to the mouse were calculated. Dose retention efficiency and viable aerosol retention rate were calculated from the sampler titers to determine the efficiency of microbe retention in lungs of mice.
B. anthracis, Y. pestis, and M. tuberculosis aerosols were sampled through the port. The count mean aerodynamic sizes were 0.98, 0.77, and 0.78 μm with geometric standard deviations of 1.60, 1.90, and 2.37, and viable aerosol concentrations in the chamber were 211, 57, and 1 colony-forming unit (CFU)/mL, respectively. Based on the aerosol concentrations, the doses presented to mice for the three pathogens were 2.5e5, 2.2e4 and 464 CFU.
Using the multiplex sampling port we determined whether the animals were challenged with an optimum bioaerosol based on dose presented and respirable particle size.
Animal models; Bacillus anthracis; Bioaerosol; Diameter; Dosimetry; Inhalation; Methods; Mycobacterium tuberculosis; Sampling; Yersinia pestis
In this study we quantified exposures to airborne particles ranging from 14 nm to 20 µm due to the use of nanotechnology-based cosmetic powders. Three nanotechnology-based and three regular cosmetic powders were realistically applied to a mannequin’s face while measuring the concentration and size distribution of inhaled aerosol particles. Using these data we calculated that the highest inhaled particle mass was in the coarse aerosol fraction (2.5–10 µm), while particles <100 nm made minimal contribution to the inhaled particle mass. For all powders, 85–93 % of aerosol deposition occurred in the head airways, while <10 % deposited in the alveolar and <5 % in the tracheobronchial regions. Electron microscopy data suggest that nanomaterials were likely distributed as agglomerates across the entire investigated aerosol size range (14 nm–20 µm). Thus, investigation of nanoparticle health effects should consider not only the alveolar region, but also other respiratory system regions where substantial nanomaterial deposition during the actual nanotechnology-based product use would occur.
Nanoaerosol; Consumer products; Nanoparticles; Personal exposure; Safety of nanotechnology
Although cryptococcosis is characterized as a chronic central nervous system disease, it is generally accepted that the lungs are the primary portal of entry for the etiological agent. Despite this, there is a distinct lack of evidence that viable airborne particles of Cryptococcus neoformans are small enough to reach the alveoli. Two encapsulated strains and one nonencapsulated strain of C. neoformans were inoculated into 250-g quantities of sterile soil. Throughout the 0 to 12 weeks of incubation, this soil was aerosolized in a sealed chamber with a Waring blender. Samples of the resultant dust cloud were taken with an Anderson air sampler from which the numbers and sizes of viable airborne particles were determined. Of the viable organisms aspirated into the air sampler, 15% were 0.65 to 2 micron in diameter. As incubation time in soil increased, the size of the particles decreased, and increased numbers of C. neoformans cells 0.65 to 2 micron in diameter were isolated. The presence of viable cells less than 2 micron in soil aerosols indicated that, under certain conditions in nature, C. neoformans cells exist in sizes that are capable of deep lung deposition.
The influence of diesel exhaust particles (DEP) on the lungs and heart is currently a topic of great interest in inhalation toxicology. Epidemiological data and animal studies have implicated airborne particulate matter and DEP in increased morbidity and mortality due to a number of cardiopulmonary diseases including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, and lung cancer. The pathogeneses of these diseases are being studied using animal models and cell culture techniques. Real-time exposures to freshly combusted diesel fuel are complex and require significant infrastructure including engine operations, dilution air, and monitoring and control of gases. A method of generating DEP aerosols from a bulk source in an aerodynamic size range similar to atmospheric DEP would be a desirable and useful alternative. Metered dose inhaler technology was adopted to generate aerosols from suspensions of DEP in the propellant hydrofluoroalkane 134a. Inertial impaction data indicated that the particle size distributions of the generated aerosols were trimodal, with count median aerodynamic diameters less than 100 nm. Scanning electron microscopy of deposited particles showed tightly aggregated particles, as would be expected from an evaporative process. Chemical analysis indicated that there were no major changes in the mass proportion of 2 specific aromatic hydrocarbons (benzo[a]pyrene and benzo[k]fluoranthene) in the particles resulting from the aerosolization process.
diesel exhaust particles; aerosol; inhalation toxicology
Aerobiological monitoring was conducted in an experimental room to aid in the development of standardized sampling protocols for airborne microorganisms in the indoor environment. The objectives of this research were to evaluate the relative efficiencies of selected sampling methods for the retrieval of airborne fungal spores and to determine the effect of human activity on air sampling. Dry aerosols containing known concentrations of Penicillium chrysogenum spores were generated, and air samples were taken by using Andersen six-stage, Surface Air System, Burkard, and depositional samplers. The Andersen and Burkard samplers retrieved the highest numbers of spores compared with the measurement standard, an aerodynamic particle sizer located inside the room. Data from paired samplers demonstrated that the Andersen sampler had the highest levels of sensitivity and repeatability. With a carpet as the source of P. chrysogenum spores, the effects of human activity (walking or vacuuming near the sampling site) on air sampling were also examined. Air samples were taken under undisturbed conditions and after human activity in the room. Human activity resulted in retrieval of significantly higher concentrations of airborne spores. Surface sampling of the carpet revealed moderate to heavy contamination despite relatively low airborne counts. Therefore, in certain situations, air sampling without concomitant surface sampling may not adequately reflect the level of microbial contamination in indoor environments.
The distribution of microorganisms, and especially pathogens, over airborne particles of different sizes has been ignored to a large extent, but it could have significant implications regarding the dispersion of these microorganisms across the planet, thus affecting human health.
We examined the microbial quality of the aerosols over the eastern Mediterranean region during an African storm to determine the size distribution of microorganisms in the air.
We used a five-stage cascade impactor for bioaerosol collection in a coastal city on the eastern Mediterranean Sea during a north African dust storm. Bacterial communities associated with aerosol particles of six different size ranges were characterized following molecular culture–independent methods, regardless of the cell culturability (analysis of 16S rRNA genes).
All 16S rDNA clone libraries were diverse, including sequences commonly found in soil and marine ecosystems. Spore-forming bacteria such as Firmicutes dominated large particle sizes (> 3.3 μm), whereas clones affiliated with Actinobacteria (found commonly in soil) and Bacteroidetes (widely distributed in the environment) gradually increased their abundance in aerosol particles of reduced size (< 3.3 μm). A large portion of the clones detected at respiratory particle sizes (< 3.3 μm) were phylogenetic neighbors to human pathogens that have been linked to several diseases.
The presence of aerosolized bacteria in small size particles may have significant implications to human health via intercontinental transportation of pathogens.
African dust; bacterial community composition; microbial transport; particle size distribution; pathogens
The shape effects of dry particles on flowability, aerosolization, and deposition properties in inhalation drug delivery are studied. The properties are compared with similar size range particles of different shapes such as sphere, needle, cube, plate, and pollen. Flowability of the particles is characterized by Carr’s compressibility index and angle of slide (θ) method. The aerosolization and deposition properties of the particles are studied in vitro using an eight-stage Anderson cascade impactor with a Rotahaler®. Pollen-shaped particles are found to exhibit better flowability, higher emitted dose, and higher fine particle fraction than particles of other shapes in similar size range. They showed minimum θ of 35° and maximum emitted dose of 87% and fine particle fraction of 16%. The use of pollen-shaped particles can be a potential improvement in dry particle inhalation.
cascade impactor; dry particle inhalation; emitted dose; fine particle fraction; flowability; pollen-shaped particles
This paper reports a series of experiments in which two methods of collecting airborne bacteriophage particles were compared. A standard aerosol sampler, the AGI-30, was evaluated for its competence in measuring the content of bacteriophage aerosols. It was used alone or with a prewetting or humidification device (humidifier bulb) to recover T3 coliphage and Pasteurella pestis bacteriophage particles from aerosols maintained at 21 C and varied relative humidity. Collection of bacteriophage particles via the humidifier bulb altered both the initial recovery level and the apparent biological decay. Sampling airborne bacteriophage particles by the AGI-30 alone yielded data that apparently underestimated the maximal number of potentially viable particles within the aerosol, sometimes by as much as 3 logs.
We designed and fabricated a new sensing system which consists of two virtual impactors and two quartz-crystal microbalance (QCM) sensors for measuring particle mass concentration and size distribution. The virtual impactors utilized different inertial forces of particles in air flow to classify different particle sizes. They were designed to classify particle diameter, d, into three different ranges: d < 2.28 μm, 2.28 μm ≤ d ≤ 3.20 μm, d > 3.20 μm. The QCM sensors were coated with a hydrogel, which was found to be a reliable adhesive for capturing aerosol particles. The QCM sensor coated with hydrogel was used to measure the mass loading of particles by utilizing its characteristic of resonant frequency shift. An integrated system has been demonstrated.
microbalance sensor; virtual impactor; aerosol particle
Bacterial air sampling in an animal care laboratory showed that dense aerosols are generated during cage changing and cage cleaning. Reyniers and Andersen sampling showed that the airborne bacteria numbered 50 to 200 colony-forming units (CFU)/ft3 of air. Of the viable particles collected by Andersen samplers, 78.5% were larger than 5.5 μm. A low velocity laminar air flow system composed of high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters and a ceiling distribution system maintained the number of airborne viable particles at low levels, generally less than 2 CFU/ft3. Vertical air flow of 15 ft/min significantly reduced the rate of airborne infection by a strain of Proteus mirabilis. Other factors shown to influence airborne infection included type of cage utilized, the use of bedding, the distance between cages, and the number of animals per cage.
Single-particle laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry, in the form of bioaerosol mass spectrometry (BAMS), was evaluated as a rapid detector for individual airborne, micron-sized, Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Ra particles, comprised of a single cell or a small number of clumped cells. The BAMS mass spectral signatures for aerosolized M. tuberculosis H37Ra particles were found to be distinct from M. smegmatis, Bacillus atrophaeus, and B. cereus particles, using a distinct biomarker. This is the first time a potentially unique biomarker was measured in M. tuberculosis H37Ra on a single-cell level. In addition, M. tuberculosis H37Ra and M. smegmatis were aerosolized into a bioaerosol chamber and were sampled and analyzed using BAMS, an aerodynamic particle sizer, a viable Anderson six-stage sampler, and filter cassette samplers that permitted direct counts of cells. In a background-free environment, BAMS was able to sample and detect M. tuberculosis H37Ra at airborne concentrations of >1 M. tuberculosis H37Ra-containing particles/liter of air in 20 min as determined by direct counts of filter cassette-sampled particles, and concentrations of >40 M. tuberculosis H37Ra CFU/liter of air in 1 min as determined by using viable Andersen six-stage samplers. This is a first step toward the development of a rapid, stand-alone airborne M. tuberculosis particle detector for the direct detection of M. tuberculosis bioaerosols generated by an infectious patient. Additional instrumental development is currently under way to make BAMS useful in realistic environmental and respiratory particle backgrounds expected in tuberculosis diagnostic scenarios.
An ongoing discussion whether traditional toxicological methods are sufficient to evaluate the risks associated with nanoparticle inhalation has led to the emergence of Air-Liquid interface toxicology. As a step in this process, this study explores the evolution of particle characteristics as they move from the airborne state into physiological solution. Airborne gold nanoparticles (AuNP) are generated using an evaporation-condensation technique. Spherical and agglomerate AuNPs are deposited into physiological solutions of increasing biological complexity. The AuNP size is characterized in air as mobility diameter and in liquid as hydrodynamic diameter. AuNP:Protein aggregation in physiological solutions is determined using dynamic light scattering, particle tracking analysis, and UV absorption spectroscopy. AuNPs deposited into homocysteine buffer form large gold-aggregates. Spherical AuNPs deposited in solutions of albumin were trapped at the Air-Liquid interface but was readily suspended in the solutions with a size close to that of the airborne particles, indicating that AuNP:Protein complex formation is promoted. Deposition into serum and lung fluid resulted in larger complexes, reflecting the formation of a more complex protein corona. UV absorption spectroscopy indicated no further aggregation of the AuNPs after deposition in solution. The corona of the deposited AuNPs shows differences compared to AuNPs generated in suspension. Deposition of AuNPs from the aerosol phase into biological fluids offers a method to study the protein corona formed, upon inhalation and deposition in the lungs in a more realistic way compared to particle liquid suspensions. This is important since the protein corona together with key particle properties (e.g. size, shape and surface reactivity) to a large extent may determine the nanoparticle effects and possible translocation to other organs.
The preseparator of an Andersen impactor with different coating treatments for a range of particle-size distributions was evaluated. Limited theoretical simulations constrained by simplifying assumptions of the airflow fields in the preseparator and upper stages of an 8-stage Andersen impactor were used to reveal low-velocity and high-pressure regions for potential deposition. These regions were then sampled in subsequent particle deposition experiments. Disodium fluorescein aerosols were sampled with different coating treatments of the preseparator floor. Particles collected at impactor stages determined particle size distributions. Stage deposition was compared between different preseparator treatments (buffer and silicon oil). Collection efficiency in the preseparator followed the pattern buffer >silicon oil >untreated. Statistical differences (P>0.05) were noted in collection efficiency of large particles (45 μm-75 μm) in the preseparator. The mass median aerodynamic diameters and geometric standard deviations showed some statistical differences when different preseparator treatments for large particles were used; therefore, preseparator coating was shown to influence performance and thereby estimates of particle size by intertial impaction.
Inertial impaction; Preseparator; Wall losses; Finite element analysis
Airborne fungi were monitored at five sample sites with the Burkard portable, the RCS Plus, and the SAS Super 90 air samplers; the Andersen 2-stage impactor was used for comparison. All samplers were calibrated before being used simultaneously to collect 100-liter samples at each site. The Andersen and Burkard samplers retrieved equivalent volumes of airborne fungi; the SAS Super 90 and RCS Plus measurements did not differ from each other but were significantly lower than those obtained with the Andersen or Burkard samplers. Total fungal counts correlated linearly with Cladosporium and Penicillium counts. Alternaria species, although present at all sites, did not correlate with total count or with amounts of any other fungal genera. Sampler and location significantly influenced fungal counts, but no interactions between samplers and locations were found.
Summary: To better understand the underlying mechanisms of aerovirology, accurate sampling of airborne viruses is fundamental. The sampling instruments commonly used in aerobiology have also been used to recover viruses suspended in the air. We reviewed over 100 papers to evaluate the methods currently used for viral aerosol sampling. Differentiating infections caused by direct contact from those caused by airborne dissemination can be a very demanding task given the wide variety of sources of viral aerosols. While epidemiological data can help to determine the source of the contamination, direct data obtained from air samples can provide very useful information for risk assessment purposes. Many types of samplers have been used over the years, including liquid impingers, solid impactors, filters, electrostatic precipitators, and many others. The efficiencies of these samplers depend on a variety of environmental and methodological factors that can affect the integrity of the virus structure. The aerodynamic size distribution of the aerosol also has a direct effect on sampler efficiency. Viral aerosols can be studied under controlled laboratory conditions, using biological or nonbiological tracers and surrogate viruses, which are also discussed in this review. Lastly, general recommendations are made regarding future studies on the sampling of airborne viruses.
Recent recommendations for wood dust sampling include sampling according to the inhalable convention of International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 7708 (1995) Air quality—particle size fraction definitions for health-related sampling. However, a specific sampling device is not mandated, and while several samplers have laboratory performance approaching theoretical for an ‘inhalable’ sampler, the best choice of sampler for wood dust is not clear. A side-by-side field study was considered the most practical test of samplers as laboratory performance tests consider overall performance based on a wider range of particle sizes than are commonly encountered in the wood products industry. Seven companies in the wood products industry of the Southeast USA (MS, KY, AL, and WV) participated in this study. The products included hardwood flooring, engineered hardwood flooring, door skins, shutter blinds, kitchen cabinets, plywood, and veneer. The samplers selected were 37-mm closed-face cassette with ACCU-CAP™, Button, CIP10-I, GSP, and Institute of Occupational Medicine. Approximately 30 of each possible pairwise combination of samplers were collected as personal sample sets. Paired samplers of the same type were used to calculate environmental variance that was then used to determine the number of pairs of samples necessary to detect any difference at a specified level of confidence. Total valid sample number was 888 (444 valid pairs). The mass concentration of wood dust ranged from 0.02 to 195 mg m−3. Geometric mean (geometric standard deviation) and arithmetic mean (standard deviation) of wood dust were 0.98 mg m−3 (3.06) and 2.12 mg m−3 (7.74), respectively. One percent of the samples exceeded 15 mg m−3, 6% exceeded 5 mg m−3, and 48% exceeded 1 mg m−3. The number of collected pairs is generally appropriate to detect a 35% difference when outliers (negative mass loadings) are removed. Statistical evaluation of the nonsimilar sampler pair results produced a finding of no significant difference between any pairing of sampler type. A practical consideration for sampling in the USA is that the ACCU-CAP™ is similar to the sampler currently used by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for purposes of demonstrating compliance with its permissible exposure limit for wood dust, which is the same as for Particles Not Otherwise Regulated, also known as inert dust or nuisance dust (Method PV2121).
ACCU-CAP™; Button sampler; CIP10-I sampler; GSP sampler; inhalable sampling; IOM sampler; wood dust