Dust Particulate Air Sampling
Dust or particulate air sampling measures the concentration of physical particles in the air
Sampling for dust in the indoor air environment is sometimes simple and sometimes quite complex depending on the method used and the type of dust required to be sampled for.
Dust sampling can be conducted by using calibrated meters that provide an instant result or by utilising calibrated pumps that draw in air onto filter paper at a specific flow rate over a specific period of time. These quantities of dust are then compared to Australian standards and detailed reports can be compiled providing results and recommendations.
The ultrafine particles are those less than 0.1 microns in diameter and research suggests that these particles may potentially be of most concern even though there are no current exposure standards in relation to ultrafine particulates. Vehicle exhaust emissions, smoking, toner dust from printers and photocopiers, some of the dust emitted from the back of vacuum cleaners with no HEPA filter and viruses all fall into this category. A specific ultrafine particle counter is required to measure these particles and an instant result can be obtained.
Dust or particulate air sampling measures the concentration of physical particles in the air. Dust will often have many other contaminants attached to it but air monitoring is often conducted to measure the concentration of particles / particulates in the air.
Most of the particulates in the air are very small (less than 1 micron in size) and many are what we call ultra-fine particles (which are less than 0.1 micron in diameter). In fact over 95% of particulates cannot be seen by the naked eye.
This means that all the dust particles that you may be able to see, represent a very small portion of the particles in the air. The smaller the particles the more easily they can penetrate into the deepest part of the lungs and this is why it is important to sample for these smaller particulates.
A Building Biologist helps to identify sources of dust particulates, measure the concentration levels and offer recommendations to minimise or prevent elevated exposure. This is important as some types of dust like crystalline silica have very specifically low exposure standards due to their potential to cause serious adverse health effects. Particulates can be generated or originate from various sources like cutting and grinding of metals, soft and hard woods, MDF or from degraded insulation. It is a very important part of particulate sampling to identify the source and potential size of particulates, as this will often determine whether the concentration levels are of concern and what type of equipment to use to obtain a result that is meaningful.
Calibrated equipment is used and detailed reports can be compiled so that results are understandable and solutions to elevated dust particulates can be provided.
Please do not hesitate to contact Ecolibria to discuss your specific requirements and concerns.