This study was conducted to determine if a correlation could be made between particle counts collected with the Lighthouse Handheld 3016 IAQ direct reading particle counter and spore counts collected with an Air-O-Cell spore trap cassette. Thirty samples were collected in a cabin in Southwestern Montana in the month of December 2004. The cabin was heavily contaminated with visible mold growth. The direct reading particle counter selected for this study was the Lighthouse Handheld 3016 IAQ particle counter. The particle counter sampled at six different size channels; 0.3 um, 0.1 um, 1 um, 2.5 um, 5 um, and 10 um. The Air-O-Cell cassette was used to sample the mold spore counts in the area side by side with the direct reading particle counter. Cumulative concentrations at the 2.5 um cut point were used from the direct reading instrument and compared with Air-O-Cell spore concentrations. A moderate positive correlation (.536) was found between the Air-O-Cell spore concentrations and the handheld 2.5 um particle concentrations (p=.003) A weak R-Squared value (.287) was also found. Cumulative counts at the 2.5 um cut point were used from the direct reading instrument and compared with the Air-O-Cell spore counts. A strong positive correlation (.787) was found between the Air-O-Cell spore counts and the handheld 2.5 um particle counts (p=.000). A strong r-squared value (.619) was also found. The correlations identified between mold spore counts and 2.5 um particle counts warrant further research in this area. This research may prove valuable in the ability of direct reading instrument to predict mold spore counts.
Particle counters; Molds; Air sampling; Air pollutants; Air quality measurement; Particle size
A comparison of particle counts obtained with a direct reading particle counter to mold spore counts obtained with an integrated spore trap method
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