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Appl Occup Environ Hyg. 1999 Dec;14(12):845-51.

A soiling system for evaluation of house dust, allergens, and lead retention on carpets and other surfaces.

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Environmental and Occupational Health, Saint Louis University School of Public Health, USA.


Artificial soiling of carpeted or other floor surfaces has several important applications in human exposure assessment and textile research including evaluation of textile properties, sampling devices, and cleaning regimens. A method was developed and validated to deposit uniform and reproducible known quantities of house dust, allergens, and leaded dust on carpets. The soiling apparatus consisted of a 100 cm x 60 cm inclined steel track and a plastic cylinder, with a series of staggered holes, that contains a known volume of reference house dust. After deposition, the dust is embedded by dragging a steel rod over the carpet surface. Deposition tests were performed with bulk house dust, sodium chloride, and house dust with reference quantities of dust mite allergen and lead. The apparatus deposited equivalent (arithmetic mean) amounts of dust, sodium chloride, and dust mite allergen on the front and back halves of test carpets. The introduction of inert fumed silica to the reference sample aided in dispersal of dust over test surfaces. Little to no variation in mean deposition was found within or between 4 days of testing. Using a grid containing weighing boats under the apparatus, spatial deposition was found to vary across a 92 x 46 cm surface by 13 percent. The apparatus deposited reproducible mean quantities of bulk dust on test surfaces from 7 g/m2 to 28 g/m2 with a coefficient of variation ranging from 4-6 percent. The apparatus could be altered to deliver smaller or larger amounts of dust.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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