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Development of a method for bacteria and virus recovery from heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) filters.

Authors
Farnsworth-JE; Goyal-SM; Kim-SW; Kuehn-TH; Raynor-PC; Ramakrishnan-MA; Anantharaman-S; Tang-W
Source
J Environ Monit 2006 Sep; 8(10):1006-1013
NIOSHTIC No.
20037361
Abstract
The aim of the work presented here is to study the effectiveness of building air handling units (AHUs) in serving as high volume sampling devices for airborne bacteria and viruses. An HVAC test facility constructed according to ASHRAE Standard 52.2-1999 was used for the controlled loading of HVAC filter media with aerosolized bacteria and virus. Nonpathogenic Bacillus subtilis var. niger was chosen as a surrogate for Bacillus anthracis. Three animal viruses; transmissible gastroenteritis virus (TGEV), avian pneumovirus (APV), and fowlpox virus were chosen as surrogates for three human viruses; SARS coronavirus, respiratory syncytial virus, and smallpox virus; respectively. These bacteria and viruses were nebulized in separate tests and injected into the test duct of the test facility upstream of a MERV 14 filter. SKC Biosamplers upstream and downstream of the test filter served as reference samplers. The collection efficiency of the filter media was calculated to be 96.5 - 1.5% for B. subtilis, however no collection efficiency was measured for the viruses as no live virus was ever recovered from the downstream samplers. Filter samples were cut from the test filter and eluted by hand-shaking. An extraction efficiency of 105 - 19% was calculated for B. subtilis. The viruses were extracted at much lower efficiencies (0.7-20%). Our results indicate that the airborne concentration of spore-forming bacteria in building AHUs may be determined by analyzing the material collected on HVAC filter media, however culture-based analytical techniques are impractical for virus recovery. Molecular-based identification techniques such as PCR could be used.
Keywords
Aerosol-particles; Aerosols; Airborne-particles; Air-contamination; Bacteria; Bacterial-disease; Bacterial-dusts; Bacterial-infections; Biological-effects; Cell-biology; Demographic-characteristics; Engineering; Engineering-controls; Environmental-exposure; Environmental-factors; Environmental-hazards; Environmental-health; Exposure-assessment; Exposure-levels; Exposure-methods; Immune-reaction; Immune-system; Inhalants; Inhalation-studies; Personal-protection; Physiological-effects; Physiological-factors; Physiological-response; Pollution; Protective-equipment; Protective-measures; Public-health; Quantitative-analysis; Risk-analysis; Risk-factors; Safety-measures; Safety-practices; Statistical-analysis; Surface-properties; Water-analysis; Work-environment; Workplace-studies; Work-practices
Contact
James E. Farnsworth, Engineering Department, TSI Incorporated, 500 Cardigan Road, Saint Paul, MN 55126-3903
CODEN
JEMOFW
Publication Date
20060906
Document Type
Journal Article
Funding Type
Grant
Fiscal Year
2006
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-T42-OH-008434
Issue of Publication
10
ISSN
1464-0325
Source Name
Journal of Environmental Monitoring
State
MN
Performing Organization
University of Minnesota Twin Cities
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