The survival of Escherichia coli in an aerosol was studied at several temperatures and over a range of relative humidities using a Henderson apparatus. Death occurred in two phases, the first lasting approximately 1 min; in the second the number of viable microorganisms declined exponentially. E. coli was robust and remained viable for many hours. Death was most rapid at low humidities (less than 50% r.h.) at 15 and 30 degrees C, with half-lives of 14 and 3 min respectively. In humid conditions the half-lives were much longer, approximately 83 and 14 min respectively. Based on this work, preliminary recommendations for the climate of livestock buildings can now be given to control the airborne spread of E. coli.