1. Sampling Overview
    1. Culturable air samples
    2. Non-culturable air samples
    3. Surface samples
    4. Special cases
  2. Interpretation Overview
    1. Activity levels
    2. Weather conditions
    3. Condition of the area sampled
  3. Additional Information
    1. Spore trap air sampling
    2. Andersen or Biocassette air sampling
    3. Surface sampling (Tape, Swab, Bulk)
    4. Surface sampling (Dust)
  4. Environmental Reporter
  5. Ask Dr. Burge
  6. Allergen Glossary
  7. Food Microbiology Glossary
  8. Fungal Glossary
  9. Resources


Sampling for bioaerosols in hospitals is considerably more complex than in homes or office buildings. With the presence of surgical rooms, transplant critical care areas, burn units, and other immuno-compromised patients, it is important to establish scientifically that the indoor air is very clean (especially during construction). Opinions vary regarding acceptable indoor spore levels in hospitals, but recognized experts believe that there should be less than one spore per cubic meter of air. To achieve this sensitivity, it is necessary to sample for 35 minutes at a rate of 28.3 liters per minute. However, sampling for this length of time may dry out sampling media and result in "bounce off." We typically recommend that people sampling in hospitals use sequential plates, sampling for about 5 minutes per agar plate. These multiple plates are analyzed (and charged) as a single sample. As hospitals are special sampling projects, we recommend that you call us to discuss sampling protocols.


Sampling in school buildings also presents certain difficulties. Schools tend to have high levels of activity that typically result in higher airborne levels of fungi and bacteria. Financial considerations which have caused maintenance cutbacks are another important element. Also, indoor air quality investigations in school buildings may be sensitive projects, involving public relations, parental concern, and extensive media exposure. For these reasons, a more thorough sampling protocol may be necessary. Again, please feel free contact us to discuss your particular needs.