When discussing air testing, the first question many people have is “how are samples collected?” While many people picture collecting a sample of air in a jar or some other simple container, the actual process is much more efficient than that. All in all, air samples typically require a filtration process in which the air is pushed through a filter or slide and the contents of the filter/slide are then analyzed for particulate matter and contaminants. That’s exactly why we use Air-O-Cell® Cassettes.
Air-O-Cell® Cassettes are manufactured by Zefon International and are basically miniature air filtration chambers that catch air contaminants on a small slide for microscopic analysis. Contaminant-laden air is pushed through an inlet slit using an air pump and directed toward the slide. The air passes through the chamber, leaving particles behind on the slide and passing out of the other side of the chamber. This slide can then be extracted from the cassette and analyzed directly underneath a microscope for particles and contaminants.
The adhesive on the slide prevents the collected particulate from washing away during laboratory staining process and eliminates sample loss due to shipping and handling. These Air-O-Cell® cassettes are an easy and efficient way to collect samples even in compact or restrictive spaces. For more information about these cassettes, or to purchase your own, click here.
Another benefit of the Air-O-Cell® Cassette is that it allows scientists to examine a wide array of particulate matter in any given sample. In other words, testing with these cassettes does not limit the test to just one contaminant or particulate. Air-O-Cell® Cassettes can allow for testing of numerous particulates including:
- Mold Spores: Spores generated from fungal material that can be particularly dangerous to your health. Learn more about mold testing here.
- Skin Cell Fragments (Dander): Skin cell fragments from humans and/or animals (also called dander)
- Fibrous Glass Fibers: Typically fiberglass and mineral wool, used primarily as insulation material and filler for ceiling tiles
- Cellulosic Fibers: Natural fibers used in clothing and paper products
- Synthetic Fibers: Synthetic fibrous materials used in fabrics, carpets, or clothing such as nylon and rayon
- Opaque Particles: Particles that appear black and opaque on the slide with transmitted light
- Insect Parts: All debris associated with insects including body fragments, wings, etc.
Since Air-O-Cell® Cassettes can test for such a wide array or particulate materials in a given sample, they are used for numerous applications. These cassettes can measure indoor air quality, testing for mold spores, pollen, insect parts, dust mites, skin cell fragments, plant fragments, dust, fibers, combustion emissions, etc. They are also used in home inspections to test for the presence of mold contamination before or after real estate transactions.
Air-O-Cell® Cassettes are also used in flood and fire restoration, evaluating mold spore contamination before, during, and after remediation in the case of a flood and combustion emissions and particulate contamination in the event of a fire.
These cassettes can be used in home allergy testing too. They can be used to detect mold spores, pollen, insect parts, dust mites, dander, and other allergens in the home. They are also used for cleanroom monitoring, detecting the presence of low airborne dust and contaminants from personnel such as skin cells, clothing fibers, cosmetics, etc. Air-O-Cell® Cassettes can also be used in fiber analysis including asbestos, fiberglass, cellulose, and ceramics testing as well as stack emissions testing for fly ash, inorganic dust and other hazardous particulates.
As you can see, Air-O-Cell® Cassettes have revolutionized air quality testing methods. They are easy to use and provide fast, accurate results for a wide array of air testing applications. If you need help collecting samples and testing the air in any of the above scenarios or if you simply have more questions about Air-O-Cell® Cassettes and air quality testing, contact the SanAir Technologies team today. SanAir has developed a comprehensive web-based reporting layout that is in an easy-to-read format. You can contact us today by dialing (804) 897-1177.