Bioaerosal _monitoring

Exova Catalyst are able to offer UKAS/MCERTS accreditation for sampling of bioaerosols (biological aerosols) from stack emissions, in accordance with VDI 4257 Part 2, as required by the Environment Agency’s Technical Guidance Note M2. The UKAS accreditation covers monitoring of emissions for yeasts, moulds, bacteria and fungus, including Aspergillus Fumigastus, which mainly arises from biological processes, e.g. waste recycling industry and material recovery facilities (MRF).

What are bioaerosols?

Bioaerosols are usually defined as aerosols or particulate matter of microbial, plant or animal origin that is often used synonymously with organic dust. Bioaerosols, or organic dust, may consist of pathogenic or non-pathogenic live or dead bacteria and fungi, viruses, bacterial endotoxins, mycotoxins, peptidoglycans, pollen, plant fibres, etc..

Health effects of bioaerosol exposure

The public perception and interest in bioaerosol exposure has increased over the last few decades. This interest is warranted due to the acknowledged health effects associated with exposure to biological agents in the environment. The range of adverse health effects includes contagious infectious diseases, respiratory symptoms, acute toxic effects, allergies and cancer.

Several new industrial activities have emerged in recent years in which exposures to biological agents can be prevalent. Workers in these industries (e.g. waste sorting, organic waste collection and composting) are often exposed to very high levels of microorganisms and several studies have indicated a high prevalence of respiratory symptoms and airway inflammation in these industries

Bioaerosol monitoring

This isokinetic sampling requires extracting the stack gas into a specially prepared sterilised solution, the solutions are then plated and stored under ideal conditions, allowing the living organisms to survive and form colonies. After a predetermined time period, the biological colonies are counted for bioaerosols, such as total fungi and/or total bacteria and mycotoxins. The volume of gas sampled then allows a concentration to be calculated.

For more information on how Exova Catalyst’s accreditation to VDI 4257 for bioaerosol testing can help you, please do not hesitate to Contact Us.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has produced a report entitled “Bioaerosol emissions from waste composting and the potential for workers’ exposure” which provides a background of bioaerosols and their monitoring.

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