Comparison of the DiSCmini aerosol monitor to a handheld condensation particle counter and a scanning mobility particle sizer for submicrometer sodium chloride and metal aerosols

J Occup Environ Hyg. 2013;10(5):250-8. doi: 10.1080/15459624.2013.769077.


We evaluated the robust, lightweight DiSCmini (DM) aerosol monitor for its ability to measure the concentration and mean diameter of submicrometer aerosols. Tests were conducted with monodispersed and polydispersed aerosols composed of two particle types (sodium chloride [NaCl] and spark-generated metal particles, which simulate particles found in welding fume) at three different steady-state concentration ranges (Low, <10(3); Medium, 10(3)-10(4); and High, >10(4) particles/cm(3)). Particle number concentration, lung deposited surface area (LDSA) concentration, and mean size measured with the DM were compared with those measured with reference instruments, a scanning mobility particle sizer (SMPS), and a handheld condensation particle counter (CPC). Particle number concentrations measured with the DM were within 16% of those measured by the CPC for polydispersed aerosols. Poorer agreement was observed for monodispersed aerosols (±35% for most tests and +101% for 300-nm NaCl). LDSA concentrations measured by the DM were 96% to 155% of those estimated with the SMPS. The geometric mean diameters measured with the DM were within 30% of those measured with the SMPS for monodispersed aerosols and within 25% for polydispersed aerosols (except for the case when the aerosol contained a substantial number of particles larger than 300 nm). The accuracy of the DM is reasonable for particles smaller than 300 nm, but caution should be exercised when particles larger than 300 nm are present. [Supplementary materials are available for this article. Go to the publisher's online edition of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene for the following free supplemental resources: manufacturer-reported capabilities of instruments used, and information from the SMPS measurements for polydispersed test particles.].

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aerosols / analysis
  • Air Pollutants, Occupational / analysis*
  • Environmental Monitoring / instrumentation*
  • Particle Size
  • Particulate Matter / analysis*
  • Sodium Chloride / analysis*


  • Aerosols
  • Air Pollutants, Occupational
  • Particulate Matter
  • Sodium Chloride