Personal exposures and microenvironmental concentrations of particles and bioaerosols

Mika Toivola (Corresponding Author), Sari Alm, Tiina Reponen, Sirpa Kolari, Aino Nevalainen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

104 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to compare the personal exposure to particles and bioaerosols with that measured by stationary samplers in the main microenvironments, i.e., the home and the workplace.
A random sample of 81 elementary school teachers was selected from the 823 teachers working for two councils in eastern Finland for the winter time measurement period.
Bioaerosol and other particles were collected on filters by button samplers using personal sampling and microenvironmental measurements in homes and workplaces.
The 24-hour sampling period was repeated twice for each teacher. Particle mass, absorption coefficient of the filter and the concentration of viable and total microorganisms were analyzed from each filter. In this paper, the study design, quality assurance principles and results of particle and bioaerosol exposure are described.
The results show that particle mass concentrations, absorption coefficient and fungi were higher in personal exposure samples than in home and workplace samples. Furthermore, these concentrations were usually lower in the home than in the workplace.
Bacterial concentrations were highest in heavily populated workplaces, while the viable fungi concentrations were lowest in workplaces.
The fungi and bacteria results showed high variation, which emphasises the importance of quality assurance (duplicates and field blanks) in the microbial field measurements.
Our results indicate that personal exposure measurements of bioaerosols in indoor environments are feasible and supplement the information obtained by stationary samplers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-174
JournalJournal of Environmental Monitoring
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • bioaerosols
  • aerosol particles
  • fine particles
  • volatile organic compounds
  • Aerosols in the Workplace
  • workplace


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