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Detection and identification of bioaerosols in the environment presents a unique analytical challenge. The complexity and variation of the analyte, coupled with the disparity of the end users required information has led to the establishment of a huge number of approaches for detection. In general these approaches may be divided into two elements; sampling, describing the physical process used to capture the bioaerosols and analysis, the method by which the bioaerosols are counted and identified. There are a large number of methodologies for both these elements, mainly due to the diversity of applications, and a very unhealthy absence of consensus on standardisation for these approaches. This is an analytical application where ‘one size does not fit all’; nevertheless standardisation is still essential. The focus of this review will clarify the challenge, by discussing the many different bioaerosols to be measured and the required user output, also to give a critique of the various analytical approaches that exist to date, including other promising methodologies that could be applied.
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