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Rapid and Responsive Monitoring Network for Bioaerosol Emissions - WR0605

Existing monitoring at composting and other sites known to produce bioaerosol species is currently based on traditional microbiological techniques, which are slow and do not give real time results. In addition, accurate quantification of biological species is difficult because this has not been the main aim of previous work. Therefore, the overall aim of this research was to propose and test a new, real-time monitoring network to quantify the emissions of potentially harmful biological species in the immediate vicinity of composting sites.

The project reviewed available aerosol sampling systems, methodologies and analytical techniques, including those developed for the military, and built on existing studies undertaken in this area. The research also considered various network configurations for the monitoring equipment and developed a genetic-based assay for a specific bioaerosol species; a fungus called Aspergillus fumigatus.

The selected network equipment was tested both under laboratory conditions and at a composting site. The research found that the new genetic-based assay gives a higher reading of bioaerosol level than traditional microbiological methods, which was expected because it measures both viable and non-viable Aspergillus fumigatus spores.

It appears that the selected equipment and network configuration has the potential to offer a cost effective approach and allow the near real-time quantification of biological aerosols from composting facilities.
The main aims of this project were:

1: To review all monitoring equipment that could be of use for sampling, general measurement of particulate and identification of fungi and bacteria.

2: To select the preferred options

3: To evaluate and test the individual units under laboratory conditions

4: To test the monitoring network at a composting site

Project Documents
• Final Report : WR0605 "Rapid response monitoring network for bioaerosol emissions" - Final Report   (3575k)
• Final Report : WR0605 "Rapid response monitoring network for bioaerosol emissions" - Summary Report   (172k)
• Information Leaflet : WR0605 "Rapid response monitoring network for bioaerosol emissions" - Frequently Asked Questions   (63k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2007

To: 2009

Cost: £297,767
Contractor / Funded Organisations
National Physical Laboratory
Air Pollution              
Air quality monitoring              
Biological Effects              
Environment and Health              
Environmental monitoring              
Environmental Protection              
Impact assessment              
Waste Management              
Fields of Study
Waste Management