A Simple and Disposable Sampler for Inhalable Aerosol

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Abstract

The state-of-the-art for personal sampling for inhalable aerosol hazards is constrained by issues of sampler cost and complexity; these issues have limited the adoption and use of some samplers by practicing hygienists. Thus, despite the known health effects of inhalable aerosol hazards, personal exposures are routinely assessed for only a small fraction of the at-risk workforce. To address the limitations of current technologies for inhalable aerosol sampling, a disposable inhalable aerosol sampler was developed and evaluated in the laboratory. The new sampler is designed to be less expensive and simpler to use than existing technologies. The sampler incorporates a lightweight internal capsule fused to the sampling filter. This capsule-filter assembly allows for the inclusion of particles deposited on the internal walls and inlet, thus minimizing the need to wash or wipe the interior sampling cassette when conducting gravimetric analyses. Sampling efficiency and wall losses were tested in a low-velocity wind tunnel with particles ranging from 9.5 to 89.5 μm. The results were compared to the proposed low-velocity inhalability criterion as well as published data on the IOM sampler. Filter weight stability and time-to-equilibrium were evaluated as these factors affect the practicality of a design. Preliminary testing of the new sampler showed good agreement with both the IOM and the proposed low-velocity inhalability curve. The capsule and filter assemblies reached equilibrium within 25h of manufacturing when conditioned at elevated temperatures. After reaching equilibrium, the capsule-filter assemblies were stable within 0.01mg.

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