Field and wind tunnel comparison of four aerosol samplers using agricultural dusts

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Peer Reviewed


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Journal/Book/Conference Title

Annals of Occupational Hygiene

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Occupational lung disease is a significant problem among agricultural workers exposed to organic dusts. Measurements of exposure in agricultural environments in the USA have traditionally been conducted using 37-mm closed-face cassettes (CFCs) and respirable Cyclones. Inhalable aerosol samplers offer significant improvement for dose estimation studies to reduce respiratory disease. The goals of this study were to determine correction factors between the inhalable samplers (IOM and Button) and the CFC and Cyclone for dusts sampled in livestock buildings and to determine whether these factors vary among livestock types. Determination of these correction factors will allow comparison between inhalable measurements and historical measurements. Ten sets of samples were collected in swine, chicken, turkey, and dairy facilities in both Colorado and Iowa. Pairs of each sampling device were attached to the front and back of a rotating mannequin. Laboratory studies using a still-air chamber and a wind tunnel provided information regarding the effect of wind speed on sampler performance. Overall, the IOM had the lowest coefficient of variation (best precision) and was least affected by changes in wind speed. The performance of the Button was negatively impacted in poultry environments where larger (feather) particulates clogged the holes in the initial screen. The CFC/IOM ratios are important for comparisons between newer and older studies. Wind speed and dust type were both important factors affecting ratios. Based on the field studies (Table 6), a ratio of 0.56 is suggested as a conversion factor for the CFC/IOM (average for all environments because of no statistical difference). Suggested conversion factors for the Button/IOM are swine (0.57), chicken (0.80), turkey (0.53), and dairy (0.67). Any attempt to apply a conversion factor between the Cyclone and inhalable samplers is not recommended.



Published Article/Book Citation

Annals of Occupational Hygiene, 53:6 (2009) pp.585-594. DOI:10.1093/annhyg/mep021.

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