We can’t see air, of course, but it contains both gasses and solid particles. The tiny particles found in the air, known as aerosols, contain biological and chemical components. The makeup of these components determines air quality. Indoors, biological aerosols, or bioaerosols, include viruses, fungi, and bacteria. Aerosols impact the health of building occupants. Therefore, to maintain good indoor air quality, bioaerosol testing indoors is recommended.
Bioaerosol Testing Indoors
Maintaining healthy indoor air quality (IAQ) is a concern for business owners and facilities managers. The many negative effects of poor IAQ include illness, loss of productivity, and impaired cognitive functioning. It makes sense then that building managers want to maintain good IAQ. However, before correcting IAQ issues, it’s important to test the indoor environmental conditions. That’s where bioaerosol testing indoors plays an important role.
Examples of Bioaerosols
As we mentioned above, aerosols are microscopic particles found floating in the air. Bioaerosols, specifically, are particles with a biological origin.
- Viruses (including the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19)
- Dust mites
- Insects and insect parts
- Wood dust
- Dead skin cells
- Pet dander
- Textile and paper fibers
Health Effects of PM Exposure
Particulate matter (PM) is a term used when discussing indoor air quality. It refers to the mixture of both solid and liquid particles found in the air. PMs fall into different categorizations when testing for bioaerosol testing indoors. For example, PM10 includes inhalable particles 10 micrometers or smaller. A PM2.5 particle is 2.5 micrometers or smaller. Smaller PMs pose the biggest health threat because they travel further into the respiratory system.
Exposure to particulate matter poses health risks to building occupants. This includes workers in office buildings, students in classrooms, and customers in retail businesses. Short-term exposure carries risks such as asthma attacks and increased blood pressure. Long-term exposure carries the risk of chronic bronchitis as well as cardiovascular and respiratory disease.
For business owners, poor IAQ leads to more missed work days among employees. In schools, it leads to increased absenteeism among students as well as lower test scores. Therefore, bioaerosol testing indoors is an important part of health and wellness. After assessing the problem with IAQ, be it an HVAC or a contamination source issue, corrective action follows.
WTI – Pure Air Control offers a suite of Building Science services that gives building owners and managers the tools needed to maintain proper IAQ. This includes testing for bioaerosols as well as monitoring indoor environmental conditions. Services include the Building Health Check, HVAC Assessment, and IAQ Guard 2.0.
Building Health Check
The Building Health Check tests environmental conditions based on HVAC zones. Services include bioaerosol testing indoors as well as mold assessments, and allergen and dust screening.
The HVAC Assessment includes airflow and energy efficiency testing, building pressure analysis, and building air tightness testing. The assessment pays particular attention to the evaporator coils, blower, drain pan, and ductwork. Performance testing is also used to gauge the impact the system has on IAQ as well as the impact on pressure or airflow across the coils.
IAQ Guard 2.0
IAQ Guard 2.0 uses sensors to monitor indoor conditions so quick corrective action is ensured. These sensors track conditions such as temperature, relative humidity, and dew point, as well as CO2, particle matter, and total volatile organic compounds. In addition, WIFI-enabled devices connect to air purifiers and can be configured to operate based on system settings.
WTI Laboratory Services for Bioaerosol Testing Indoors
The laboratory at WTI provides professional environmental sample testing. These services help businesses, schools, universities, and healthcare facilities maintain safe indoor conditions. Bioaerosol testing indoors is but one part of the lab’s services which also tests surface samples for microbes, chemicals, and allergens. Staffed with highly-trained technicians using cutting-edge technologies, the laboratory at WTI is among the world’s leading environmental testing facilities.
How Bioaerosoal Testing Indoors Works
Bioaerosol testing indoors includes the “spore trap” sampling method for collecting airborne particulates. This procedure draws air over an adhesive-coated slide or “glass slip” which traps the aerosols. After collection, the slide is magnified using light microscopy and then analyzed. This evaluation is a key part of bioaerosol testing indoors. The effectiveness of collection depends on a few variables such as the size of the particles ad air velocity.
Learn More About Bioaerosol Testing Indoors
Keep building occupants safe with improved HVAC performance, bioaerosol testing indoors, and monitoring. To learn more, contact WTI – Pure Air Control today.