The measurement of ambient bioaerosol exposure
Monitoring of ambient bioaerosol concentrations through the characterization of outdoor particulate matter (PM) has only been performed on a limited basis in North Carolina (NC) and was the goal of this research. Ambient samples of PM2.5 (fine) and PM10-2.5 (coarse) were collected for a six-month period and analyzed for mold, endotoxins and protein. PM2.5 and PM10-2.5 concentrations of these bioaerosols were reported as a function of PM mass, as well as volume of air sampled. The mass of PM2.5 was almost twice that of the PM10-2.5; however, the protein and endotoxin masses were greater in the coarse than the fine PM indicating an enrichment in the coarse PM. The protein and mold results demonstrated a seasonal pattern, both being higher in the summer than in the winter. Except for an occasional excursion, the endotoxin data remained fairly constant throughout the six months of the study.