Student Research: Benjamin R. Wischmeier
Effective equipment for the detection of airborne biological agents (bioaerosols), including fungi, pollen, viruses, bacteria and other biologially based contaminants are important tools for public health professionals. Accurately measuring and identifying bioaerosols is vital in the assessment and control of public health risks for infection, allergic reactions and toxic effects. When conducting scientific experiments for bioaerosol detection, an array of air-sampling devices are available for us. These devices incorporate various particle capture methods, including impaction, centrifugal removal, filter-based methods, and impingement. Each method varies with regards to sampling times, collection efficiencies and maintenance of microbial viability for bioaerosols. Airborne concentrations of naturally occurring microorganisms in the ambient environment may be very low and may vary in their concentrations over time, up to differences in several orders of magnitude. The health effects associated with bioaerosol exposures are wide-ranging, and an accurate representation of airborne particulate concentration and precise microorganism detection are necessary elements when choosing the correct sampling device.