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SanAir Technologies Laboratory, Inc.

AIHA accredited environmental microbiology laboratory, specializing in testing for asbestos, mold, lead & metals, and bacteria. Free overnight shipping.

Air Sampling Methods for Commercial Spaces

Hvac Technician Worker In His 40s Testing Newly Instal

Commercial spaces often require building managers to perform air sampling at least once a year to check for safety. It’s vital that samples are taken properly and sent to a trustworthy lab, like SanAir Technologies Laboratory. Viable air sampling can detect a number of harmful contaminants in the air, like bacteria, fungi, and pollen. You likely have to test your space’s air quality at least once a year, or whenever you suspect an environmental hazard.

For commercial spaces, there are several different testing methods. If you need help choosing the method that best suits your needs, call SanAir for a consultation.

Viable Air Sampling in Commercial Spaces

This protocol tests for all contaminants in the air. You’ll want to use this if you suspect mold spores, yeast, or other bacteria. It can also be used to check for asbestos in the air. We utilize several different methods, including some forms of Andersen-style impaction sampling as well as Air-O-Cell cassettes. Both approaches are easy to use. Viable air sampling provides detailed results that include the metrics on the probability of contamination and the genus and species of any bacteria occupying the area. 

To use this type of sampling, you’ll be provided with the proper materials, like a tape or sampling plates. Once the sample is collected, it will be sent to the laboratory and examined using laser microscopy. 

Air-O-Cell cassettes are a popular testing method for commercial spaces. Air will be pumped into specially crafted cassettes that are designed to keep the samples locked in place throughout shipping. These contain a sterile media plate that is then incubated to allow the samples to grow for testing. 

Another method for air sampling in commercial spaces involves the use of settling plates. These are kept in the air for 30 to 60 minutes or longer to allow for living organisms to settle on the plate. The plates are then incubated before testing. 

Non-Viable Air Sampling

This method tests for non-living particles in the air, like metals, gasses, or other contaminants that can appear in medical buildings, construction sites, or other areas susceptible to chemicals. Usually, a tape, filter membrane, or sticky surface is used to collect the sample. Samples are tested using a microscope and a laser counter to identify groups of non-viable contaminants.

Types of Pollutants

Not all pollutants are necessarily negative, life-threatening, or require some type of action. However, it’s necessary to test the air quality in order to adequately identify the particles that are harmful to human health. Viable and non-viable air quality testing will reveal if there are any:

  • Mold spores
  • Bacteria
  • Fungi
  • Dust mites
  • Animal dander
  • Dust
  • Pollen
  • Environmental emissions
  • Chemical spills
  • Carbon dioxide
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Nitrogen dioxide

Repeated exposure to chemicals like carbon monoxide or even dust or animal dander in the air can cause adverse health effects. Depending on the results, you may have to abate a certain environmental issue and test the air quality again, until the results are clean.

Professional Air Sampling

At SanAir Technologies Laboratory, we have decades of experience helping owners and building managers in a variety of industries. We are accredited in over a dozen states as well as the American Society for Microbiology. We provide the necessary results according to EPA standards that can be submitted for insurance purposes as well as your own documentation. Our friendly staff can walk you through the entire process and ship the necessary materials overnight. Call us today at 888-895-1177 to talk to a lab expert about your air sampling needs.

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