Development of a unique multi-contaminant air sampling device for a childhood asthma cohort in an agricultural environment
This research describes the design, deployment, performance, and acceptability of a novel outdoor active air sampler to provide simultaneous measurements of multiple contaminants at timed intervals for the Aggravating Factors of Asthma in Rural Environment (AFARE) study—a longitudinal cohort of 50 children in Yakima Valley, Washington. The sampler was constructed of multiple sampling media connected to individual critical orifices and a rotary vane vacuum pump. It was connected to a timed control valve system to collect 24 hours samples every six days over 18 months. We describe a spatially representative approach with both quantitative and qualitative location criteria to deploy a network of 14 devices at participant residences in a rural region (20 × 60 km). Overall the sampler performed well, as the concurrent mean sample flow rates were within or above the ranges of recommended sampling rates for each exposure metric of interest. Acceptability was high among the study population of Hispanic farmworker participant households. The sampler design may prove useful for future urban and rural community-based studies with aims at collecting multiple contaminant data during specific time periods.