Air Sampling

Title 8, 1529. Asbestos

Petri dishes with colonies of pathogenic organismsAll businesses control hygiene measurements that may define potential exposures. There are many hygiene measurements that should be recorded and each vary with the types of equipment used for detection, the nature of the sampling, and the fulfilled time sampled within a work shift.  Air sampling techniques provide a professional with a different result applicable to the goal of the air sampling.  Let us detail this concept and the different types of samples below.

Grab sampling

Grab sampling is another word for air that is analyzed for particular contaminants of interest.  This type of sampling provides limited results on “exposure” and is typically incorporated into a qualatative evaluation to establish “presence” or “absence” of a particular contaminant.  It is commonly employed in indoor air quality evaluations, post-accident clearance sampling, and presence/absence testing to determine if a contaminant is present during a short process.  Equipment used to complete this sampling often includes tedlar bags (to pull air into for laboratory evaluation), drager tubes (drawing air through a detector tube for detection of known contaminants), and direct-reading instruments (to test for presence/absence of contaminants or oxygen content).

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAShort-term exposure sampling

Short term sampling is typically conducted between a 15 minute to 30 minute interval within a  work shift.  short term sampling is used to define peaks of exposure during a process.  Results can be compared to exposure limits on a short term exposure sample.  These samples can be completed consecutively (2 or 3 in a row) to see which portion of a particular tasks represents the peak exposure.  Equipment used to complete this type of sampling is usually integrated air
sampling equipment, direct-reading, and passive dosimetry.

Full-shift exposure sampling

Full-shift sampling is typically conducted over a full 8 hour shift or the highest anticipated 8 hour exposure period of longer shifts.  This sampling is used to define the average concentration of the contaminant over the shift and is paramount to personal exposure sampling.  Samples can be completed with multiple sampling media totaling time adding up to 8 hours.  Equipment used to complete this type of sampling is ususally integrated air sampling equipment, direct reading, and passive dosimetry.