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Performance of Air-O-Cell, Burkard, and Button samplers for total enumeration of airborne spores.

Aizenberg V; Reponen T; Grinshpun SA; Willeke K
Am Ind Hyg Assoc J 2000 Nov/Dec; 61(6):855-864
Performance of three devices used for the total enumeration of airborne spores-the Air-O-Cell sampling cassette, the Burkard personal volumetric air sampler, and the Button Aerosol Sampler--was evaluated under controlled laboratory conditions. The first two are glass-slide impactors; the third collects spores on a filter. The samplers were challenged with 0.44-5.10 microm polystyrene latex particles and five microorganisms of 0.84-3.07 microm mean aerodynamic diameter: Streptomyces albus, Bacillus subtilis, Cladosporium cladosporioides, Penicillium brevicompactum, and Penicillium melinii. An optical particle counter measured the particle concentrations upstream and downstream of each sampler, and thus determined the physical collection efficiency of the three samplers. Collection efficiency of the Button Aerosol Sampler was close to 100% for the entire particle size range studied. The cut-off size of each impactor was 2.3-2.4 microm. Acridine orange (with epifluorescent microscopy) and lactophenol cotton blue (with bright light microscopy) staining techniques were used for the microscopic enumeration of spores. No significant difference in microscopic counts was found (at the 95% significance level) when using these two techniques with the Button Aerosol Sampler filters. When the lactophenol cotton blue staining was used to compare total microbial counts yielded by all three samplers, the Button Sampler showed significantly higher counts for the smaller size microorganisms (B. subtilis and C. cladosporioides). For the larger microorganisms (P. brevicompactum and P. melinii) all three samplers yielded similar results. Uniformity of particle deposition on the collection surface was highest for the Button Aerosol Sampler due to the design of its inlet. Thus, the filter collection method used with the Button Aerosol Sampler is suitable and can be advantageous for the enumeration of total airborne spores.
Aerosol sampling; Filtration; Airborne particles; Laboratory work; Exposure levels; Author Keywords: aerosol sampling; bioaerosol; enumeration; filtration; impaction
S.A. Grinshpun, Aerosol Research and Exposure Assessment Laboratory, Department of Environmental Health, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45267-0056
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Funding Amount
Funding Type
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-R01-OH-003328; Grant-Number-T42-CCT-510420
Issue of Publication
Priority Area
Research Tools and Approaches: Exposure Assessment Methods
Source Name
American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal
Performing Organization
University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio
Page last reviewed: June 15, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division