A Personal Air Sampler (PAS) is a portable device specifically designed for the estimation of intake by an individual worker from a measurement of concentration of activity in air in the breathing zone of the worker. A sampling head containing a filter is worn on the upper torso close to the breathing zone. Air is drawn through the filter by a calibrated air pump carried by the worker. Ideally, sampling rates would be similar to typical breathing rates for a worker (~1.2 m3 h-1). However, sampling rates of current devices are only about 1/10 of this value. The activity on the filter may be measured at the end of the sampling period to give an indication of any abnormally high exposures. The filters can then be retained, bulked over a longer period, and the activity determined by radiochemical separation and high sensitivity measurement techniques. An estimate of intake during the sampling period can be made by multiplying the measured average air concentration by the air volume estimated to be inhaled by the worker during the period of intake. The difficulties in assessing intakes from PAS measurements were considered by Whicker [25]. Breathing zone measurements can vary significantly as affected by measurement conditions such as orientation of the sampler with respect to source, on which lapel (right or left) the sampler is worn, design of the air sampling head, particle size, local air velocities and directions, and sharp gradients in and around the breathing zone of workers.






Prof. Dr.-Ing. Hans Richard Doerfel

IDEA System GmbH, Am Burgweg 4, D-76227 Karlsruhe, Germany.

E-Mail: info@idea-system.com