Evaluation of physical sampling efficiency for cyclone-based personal bioaerosol samplers in moving air environments
The need to determine occupational exposure to bioaerosols has notably increased in the past decade, especially for microbiology-related workplaces and laboratories. Recently, two new cyclone-based personal bioaerosol samplers were developed by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in the USA and the Research Center for Toxicology and Hygienic Regulation of Biopreparations (RCT & HRB) in Russia to monitor bioaerosol exposure in the workplace. Here, a series of wind tunnel experiments were carried out to evaluate the physical sampling performance of these two samplers in moving air conditions, which could provide information for personal biological monitoring in a moving air environment. The experiments were conducted in a small wind tunnel facility using three wind speeds (0.5, 1.0 and 2.0 m s−1) and three sampling orientations (0°, 90°, and 180°) with respect to the wind direction. Monodispersed particles ranging from 0.5 to 10 μm were employed as the test aerosols. The evaluation of the physical sampling performance was focused on the aspiration efficiency and capture efficiency of the two samplers. The test results showed that the orientation-averaged aspiration efficiencies of the two samplers closely agreed with the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) inhalable convention within the particle sizes used in the evaluation tests, and the effect of the wind speed on the aspiration efficiency was found negligible. The capture efficiencies of these two samplers ranged from 70% to 80%. These data offer important information on the insight into the physical sampling characteristics of the two test samplers.