Science Inventory

Development of an Aggressive-Air Activity-based Air Sampling System for Collection of Bioaerosols in Outdoor Areas


Archer, J. Development of an Aggressive-Air Activity-based Air Sampling System for Collection of Bioaerosols in Outdoor Areas. 2022 American Association for Aerosol Research (AAAR), Raleigh, NC, October 03 - 07, 2022.


The purpose of this work is to fill outdoor sampling gaps and determine if a contained aggressive air sampling (AAS) system using activity-based sampling (ABS) provides an adequate means for detecting and quantifying reaerosolized spores following surface contamination of outdoor environments (i.e., utility of sampling technique and ideal conditions for use). This air sampling method would be complimentary to surface methods and inform mitigation and consequence management decisions.


CESER/HSMMD is conducting research to investigate the reaerosolization of surrogate bacterial spores in the Aerosol Test Facility and through field tests to determine the most representative air sampling methods to use for detection (characterization) and clearance of large outdoor areas following a biological agent release. Significant work has been conducted in the past on methods to determine the risk involved in occupying outdoor areas previously determined to contain some level of asbestos contamination. The EPA has developed activity-based sampling (ABS) methods for assessing the reaerosolization of asbestos fibers from outdoor surfaces into the breathing zone and determining if there is a risk of asbestos inhalation from the reaerosolized materials. This helps to provide clearance criteria for proper utilization and occupancy of the previously contaminated area. Prior work has also been conducted by the EPA to evaluate using aggressive air sampling (AAS) technology for biological contaminants—Bacillus anthracis (Ba)—on indoor and subway surfaces in controlled conditions with some success. Outdoor surfaces undergo significant changes from initial creation due to rain, carbon emissions from vehicles, dust and dirt deposition from wind, etc. These changes are difficult to mimic in laboratory experiments thus field tests on real world outdoor surfaces are necessary to properly evaluate the aggressive-air sampling methodologies. To examine this AAS technology for outdoor application, we will be utilizing an aggressive-air sampling technique in an enclosed/tented environment outdoors with surfaces contaminated with a Ba surrogate—Bacillus atrophaeus subsp. globigii (Bg). Sample collection will involve total volume air sampling with a negative air machine (NAM), personal breathing zone samplers, and wall surface sampling. This system will be termed the Activity-Based Aggressive-Air Contained Sampling System (AACeSS).

Record Details:

Product Published Date:10/07/2022
Record Last Revised:08/22/2023
OMB Category:Other
Record ID: 358641