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Atmosphere 2018, 9(10), 379;

A Controlled Study on the Characterisation of Bioaerosols Emissions from Compost

School of Water, Energy and Environment, Cranfield University, Cranfield MK43 0AL, UK
STEM Faculty, Open University, Walton Hall MK6 7AA, UK
Public Health England, Chemical and Environmental Effects Department, Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards, Oxfordshire OX11 0RQ, UK
Biosafety, Air and Water Microbiology Group, National Infection Service, Public Health England, Salisbury SP4 0JG, UK
Air Quality Management Resource Centre, Faculty of Environment and Technology, University of the West of England, Bristol BS16 1QY, UK
School of Biomedical and Healthcare Sciences, Plymouth University, Drake Circus, Plymouth PL4 8AA, UK
Environment Agency, Research, Assessment and Evaluation, Deanery Road, Bristol BS1 5AH, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 July 2018 / Revised: 22 September 2018 / Accepted: 24 September 2018 / Published: 28 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Air Pollution on Human Health)
Full-Text   |   PDF [2716 KB, uploaded 28 September 2018]   |  


Bioaerosol emissions arising from biowaste treatment are an issue of public concern. To better characterise the bioaerosols, and to assess a range of measurement methods, we aerosolised green waste compost under controlled conditions. Viable and non-viable Andersen samplers, cyclone samplers and a real time bioaerosol detection system (Spectral Intensity Bioaerosol Sensor (SIBS)) were deployed simultaneously. The number-weighted fraction of fluorescent particles was in the range 22–26% of all particles for low and high emission scenarios. Overall fluorescence spectral profiles seen by the SIBS exhibited several peaks across the 16 wavelength bands from 298 to 735 nm. The size-fractionated endotoxin profile showed most endotoxin resided in the 2.1–9 μm aerodynamic diameter fraction, though up to 27% was found in a finer size fraction. A range of microorganisms were detected through culture, Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption and Ionisation Time of Flight Mass Spectrometry (MALDI-TOF) and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), including Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1. These findings contribute to our knowledge of the physico-chemical and biological characteristics of bioaerosols from composting sites, as well as informing future monitoring approaches and data interpretation for bioaerosol measurement. View Full-Text
Keywords: bioaerosols; sampling methods; compost; characterisation bioaerosols; sampling methods; compost; characterisation

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Nasir, Z.A.; Rolph, C.; Collins, S.; Stevenson, D.; Gladding, T.L.; Hayes, E.; Williams, B.; Khera, S.; Jackson, S.; Bennett, A.; Parks, S.; Kinnersley, R.P.; Walsh, K.; Pollard, S.J.T.; Drew, G.; Alcega, S.G.; Coulon, F.; Tyrrel, S. A Controlled Study on the Characterisation of Bioaerosols Emissions from Compost. Atmosphere 2018, 9, 379.

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