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Sampling microbial aerosols.

Chatigny MA
Occupational respiratory diseases. Merchant JA, Bochlecke BA, Taylor G, eds. Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 86-102, 1986 Sep; :83-87
The sampling of air for microbial particles in work environments and its significance in the prevention of occupationally acquired infectious diseases were discussed. The collection of microbial aerosols did not differ substantially from the collection of other airborne particulates, but the processing of the sample after collection was extremely important. Careful selection of growth and assay procedures were necessary for the detection of microbes in the collected samples. The sampling of viral aerosols was particularly difficult. Due to the deficiencies in currently available instrumentation and sample processing procedures, it was not possible to sample the air of a workplace and define hazardous conditions, except in a few exceptional circumstances. The various occupations at risk for and the diseases acquired through occupational exposure to microbial aerosols were listed. There were no standards for allowable or tolerable burdens of airborne microbes. The recovery of airborne pathogens has never been quantitatively linked with the incidence of disease. The Communicable Disease Center recommended maintenance of clean environments with retrospective epidemiological data for confirmation of control efficacy, rather than prospective air sampling of hospital environments. Two new samplers available for sampling microbial aerosols were described. The author concludes that although improvements in equipment and techniques are needed, efforts to monitor aerosols and develop needed information for a rational expression for allowable microbial concentration should be continued.
Airborne-particles; Particulate-sampling-methods; Air-sampling; Workplace-studies; Microorganisms; Bacteria; Air-contamination; Sampling-methods; Occupational-diseases; Infectious-diseases; Viral-diseases; Inhalants
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Merchant JA; Bochlecke BA; Taylor G
Fiscal Year
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Occupational respiratory diseases
Page last reviewed: February 11, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division