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Sampling Submicron T1 Bacteriophage Aerosols

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Liquid impingers, filter papers, and fritted bubblers were partial viable collectors of radioactive submicron T1 bacteriophage aerosols at 30, 55, and 85% relative humidity. Sampler differences for viable collection were due to incomplete physical collection (slippage) and killing of phage by the samplers. Dynamic aerosols of a mass median diameter of 0.2 μ were produced with a Dautrebande generator from concentrated aqueous purified phage suspensions containing extracellular soluble radioactive phosphate as a physical tracer. There was considerable destruction of phage by the Dautrebande generator; phage titers of the Dautrebande suspension decreased exponentially, but there was a progressive (linear) increase in tracer titers. Liquid impingers recovered the most viable phage but allowed considerable (30 to 48%) slippage, which varies inversely with the aerosol relative humidity. Filter papers were virtually complete physical collectors of submicron particles but were the most destructive. Fritted bubbler slippage was more than 80%. With all samplers, phage kill was highest at 85% relative humidity and lowest at 55% relative humidity. An electrostatic precipitator was used to collect aerosol samples for particle sizing with an electron microscope. The particle size was slightly larger at 85% relative humidity than at 30 or 55% relative humidity.

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