Evaluation of eight bioaerosol samplers challenged with aerosols of free bacteria

Am Ind Hyg Assoc J. 1992 Oct;53(10):660-7. doi: 10.1080/15298669291360319.


The need to quantify airborne microorganisms in the commercial microbiology industry (biotechnology) and during evaluations of indoor air quality, infectious disease outbreaks, and agriculture health investigations has shown there is a major technological void in bioaerosol sampling techniques to measure and identify viable and nonviable aerosols. As commercialization of microbiology increases and diversifies, it is increasingly necessary to assess occupational exposure to bioaerosols. Meaningful exposure estimates, by using area or environmental samplers, can only be ensured by the generation of data that are both precise and accurate. The Andersen six-stage viable (microbial) particle sizing sampler (6-STG) and the Ace Glass all-glass impinger-30 (AGI-30) have been suggested as the samplers of choice for the collection of viable microorganisms by the International Aerobiology Symposium and the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists. Some researchers consider these samplers inconvenient for evaluating industrial bioprocesses and indoor or outdoor environments. Alternative samplers for the collection of bioaerosols are available; however, limited information has been reported on their collection efficiencies. A study of the relative sampling efficiencies of eight bioaerosol samplers has been completed. Eight samplers were individually challenged with a bioaerosol, created with a Collison nebulizer, of either Bacillus subtilis or Escherichia coli. The samplers were evaluated under controlled conditions in a horizontal bioaerosol chamber. During each experimental run, simultaneous samples were collected with a reference AGI-30 to verify the concentration of microorganisms in the chamber from run to run and day to day.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aerosols
  • Air Microbiology*
  • Bacillus subtilis / isolation & purification
  • Colony Count, Microbial / instrumentation*
  • Environmental Monitoring / instrumentation*
  • Escherichia coli / isolation & purification
  • Humans
  • Occupational Exposure*
  • Particle Size


  • Aerosols