NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Approaches to modeling the concentration field for adaptive sampling of contaminants during site decontamination.

Sieber-WK; Bennett-JS; Wouhib-A; Gonzalez-JF Jr.; Katzoff-MJ; Shulman-SA
Statistical methods in counterterrorism: game theory, modeling, syndromic surveillance, and biometric authentication. Wilson A, Wilson G, Olwell DH, eds. New York: Springer, 2006 Jun; :215-235
In this paper, we consider approaches to modeling of the concentration field in a building following release of a contaminant and subsequent sampling procedures for decontamination of that site. An experiment to validate the modeling approach is proposed. The anthrax pathogen, for example, is transported by spores which become aerosolized with their intentional release at "point sources," from which they may spread into a closed environment. The location of the point-sources could very well depend upon the use of the structure or uses of portions of the structure (e.g., mail sorting, business-type offices and so forth). From this it follows that mechanisms by which spores could be dispersed throughout the environment include airflow in a ventilation system, airflow in the occupied space driven by the ventilation system, air movement due to pressure differences between building units and temperature gradients, office mail delivery and sorting, or ordinary foot traffic. One approach to modeling spore dispersal is through application of the numerical methods for determining airflows, such as computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and multi-zone (MZ) modeling. An alternative approach involves geostatistical modeling techniques. Such methods may be used to provide a concentration field for the contaminant, for which appropriate sampling units can then be determined. Rules for adaptively adding sample units which utilize the characteristics of the concentration field are expected to be among the most effective. The approaches proposed here may also be applicable in other situations where a different type of contaminant must be removed during decontamination and remediation of a site. They also illustrate the multi-disciplinary nature of such investigations and statistical considerations in environmental sampling practice.
Sampling; Models; Computer-models; Computer-software; Ventilation-systems; Surveillance-programs
Publication Date
Document Type
Wilson-A; Wilson-G; Olwell-DH
Fiscal Year
NIOSH Division
Priority Area
Research Tools and Approaches: Control Technology and Personal Protective Equipment
Source Name
Statistical methods in counterterrorism: game theory, modeling, syndromic surveillance, and biometric authentication
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division