Bioaerosol Monitoring Unit

Bioaerosol Monitoring Unit

The Bioaerosol Unit specialises in airborne hazardous biological agents (HBAs) common in the workplace. The Unit consists of the aerogen testing (ASPIRE), aeromycology, bacteriology and bioassay (microbial toxins) laboratories. All tests are done in accordance with ISO17025.  The service consists of:

Workplace assessments for bioaerosol exposure.

  • Workplace environmental sampling (air, surface, bulk and or dust).
  • Enumeration and identification of bacteria and fungi from air samples (Scope of Tests).
  • Recommendations for corrective action where appropriate.
  • Consultation and recommendations on occupational exposures to HBAs
  • Training on Biorisk management
  • Efficacy testing of air disinfection devices e.g. ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI)

The Bioaerosol Unit detects and identifies specific hazardous biological agents (HBAs) in the air such as TB, latex, flour dusts, spices, endotoxin etc.  The unit works closely with other units within the section as well as within NIOH.  The quantification of these agents is useful for determining the exposure matrix within various settings and how this correlates with microphysical parameters and disease.  And in so doing provide a comprehensive workplace assessment.  This work also contributes to the identification of risk settings not known previously and also as a result of cross contamination, checking the efficacy of control interventions.  Through this type of analyses, we can see the pre and post intervention strategy in terms of reducing airborne exposure.  We are the only lab in South Africa that can measure an array of airborne agents.

Online health hazard assessment

Complete the questions below to assess your potential risk to biological agents in the workplace. This assessment is only a guide and should not be used as conclusive evidence of your risk in the workplace. If you think you are at potential risk, seek advice and professional assistance from an occupational medicine practitioner for health queries, an occupational hygienist for environmental assessment and a laboratory specializing in the hazard of concern for quality results.