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An investigation of size-specific particle concetrations using a real-time monitor in a hospital setting.

Sabatino L; Rao C; Berakis M; Kreiss K
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, June 2-7, 2001, New Orleans, Louisiana. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 2001 Jun; :65-66
Indoor air quality investigations would benefit from direct reading instruments that can quickly identify potential sources. Aerosols are an important factor in many IAQ investigations, being associated with both chemical and microbial contaminants. Particles with aerodynamic diameters <1 micrometer may be a health concern. Since size distributions and concentrations are variable, a convenient size-selective particle monitor for indoor environments is needed. Particle monitoring was conducted in an 8- story hospital. During the sampling period, forest fires burned approximately 60 miles away. Depending upon weather conditions, the city had clear and smoke-filled days. Seventeen indoor and one outdoor locations were monitored. GRIMM real-time data-logging dust monitors were used to evaluate particle concentrations for 24 hours at each of the locations. Fifteen size fractions were measured ranging from 0.3 micrometer to 20 micrometer. Outdoor GRIMM particle counts averaged 2.8 x 10 5 particles/liter (p/L) with 99% of the particles sized below 1 micrometer (cut point> 0.3 micrometer; min 6.5 x 10 4 p/L-max 1.8 x 10 6 p/L) on the smokiest day. These coincided with indoor averages of 1.6 x 10 5 p/L (96.6% <1 micrometer) on the upper floor, and 2.4 x 10 5 p/L (99.8%<1 micrometer) on the lower floor of the building. On non-smoky days, average measurements for most sites were one order of magnitude lower. However, the size distributions differed. 94% of the particles on both the upper and lower floors were less than 1 micrometer while 96% were <1 micrometer outdoors. Areas of complaints within the hospital were associated with sites that had consistently elevated particle counts in reference to the outdoor site. Size specific particle concentrations may be more relevant to indoor air quality complaints than the classical gravimetric measurements for airborne dust. They are also more useful since they can instantaneously be obtained and immediately lead investigators to problem areas in large buildings.
Indoor-environmental-quality; Air-quality; Aerosols; Air-contamination; Particulates; Monitors; Medical-facilities; Dusts; Dust-measurement; Indoor-air-pollution; Health-care-facilities
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American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, June 2-7, 2001, New Orleans, Louisiana
Page last reviewed: March 25, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division