Issue 1, 2002


The aim of this study was to compare the personal exposure to particles and bioaerosols with that measured by stationary samplers in the main microenvironments, i.e., the home and the workplace. A random sample of 81 elementary school teachers was selected from the 823 teachers working for two councils in eastern Finland for the winter time measurement period. Bioaerosol and other particles were collected on filters by button samplers using personal sampling and microenvironmental measurements in homes and workplaces. The 24-hour sampling period was repeated twice for each teacher. Particle mass, absorption coefficient of the filter and the concentration of viable and total microorganisms were analyzed from each filter. In this paper, the study design, quality assurance principles and results of particle and bioaerosol exposure are described. The results show that particle mass concentrations, absorption coefficient and fungi were higher in personal exposure samples than in home and workplace samples. Furthermore, these concentrations were usually lower in the home than in the workplace. Bacterial concentrations were highest in heavily populated workplaces, while the viable fungi concentrations were lowest in workplaces. The fungi and bacteria results showed high variation, which emphasises the importance of quality assurance (duplicates and field blanks) in the microbial field measurements. Our results indicate that personal exposure measurements of bioaerosols in indoor environments are feasible and supplement the information obtained by stationary samplers.

Article information

Article type
24 Sep 2001
30 Nov 2001
First published
09 Jan 2002

J. Environ. Monit., 2002,4, 166-174

Personal exposures and microenvironmental concentrations of particles and bioaerosols

M. Toivola, S. Alm, T. Reponen, S. Kolari and A. Nevalainen, J. Environ. Monit., 2002, 4, 166 DOI: 10.1039/B108682K

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