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Ann Occup Hyg. 2012 Mar;56(2):207-20. doi: 10.1093/annhyg/mer089. Epub 2011 Oct 10.

Performance study of personal inhalable aerosol samplers at ultra-low wind speeds.

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  • 1Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational & Environmental Health, Department of Family & Preventative Medicine, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84108, USA.


The assessment of personal inhalable aerosol samplers in a controlled laboratory setting has not previously been carried out at the ultra-low wind speed conditions that represent most modern workplaces. There is currently some concern about whether the existing inhalable aerosol convention is appropriate at these low wind speeds and an alternative has been suggested. It was therefore important to assess the performance of the most common personal samplers used to collect the inhalable aerosol fraction, especially those that were designed to match the original curve. The experimental set-up involved use of a hybrid ultra-low speed wind tunnel/calm air chamber and a rotating, heating breathing mannequin to measure the inhalable fraction of aerosol exposure. The samplers that were tested included the Institute of Occupational Medicine (IOM), Button, and GSP inhalable samplers as well as the closed-face cassette sampler that has been (and still is) widely used by occupational hygienists in many countries. The results showed that, down to ∼0.2 m s(-1), the samplers matched the current inhalability criterion relatively well but were significantly greater than this at the lowest wind speed tested. Overall, there was a significant effect of wind speed on sampling efficiency, with lower wind speeds clearly associated with an increase in sampling efficiency.

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