, Volume 21, Issue 3–4, pp 233–239 | Cite as

Comparison of the Rotorod to other air samplers for the determination of Ambrosia artemisiifolia pollen concentrations conducted in the Environmental Exposure Unit

  • Matthew J. Heffer
  • Jodan D. Ratz
  • J. David. MillerEmail author
  • James H. Day


The Environmental Exposure Unit (EEU) is a 924 m3 facility (Kingston General Hospital, Ontario) in which uniform concentrations of various pollens in HEPA-filtered air at known rates of laminar airflow can be maintained. This facility provided a unique opportunity to compare several air samplers without the environmental variation inherent in outdoor comparisons. The purpose of this study was to conduct a quantitative comparison of pollen measurements using the Rotorod, Burkard™ Personal Volumetric Air Sampler, Air-O-Cell™ and a 37 mm open-faced filter cassette with a microporous filter in the EEU. Pollen samples were taken during clinical trials being conducted in the Unit. Raw pollen counts/m3 obtained using the different methods were corrected using published particle collection efficiencies for the particle size (∼ ∼20 μm) and airflow. Data were analyzed by ANOVA/Tukey HSD. No statistically significant differences were found between pollen concentrations determined by Rotorod, Air-O-Cell and filter cassette. Pollen levels determined by the Burkard were up to 2 times higher than the other sampling methods. Relative standard deviations were similar for the Rotorod, Burkard, and filter cassette and higher for the Air-O-Cell. This study demonstrated that, under our conditions, the Rotorod sampler provides consistent and reliable measurements of ragweed pollen concentrations.


Air-O-Cell air sampler Ambrosia artemisiifolia Burkard Environmental Exposure Unit filter cassette pollen Rotorod 





Burkard™ Personal Volumetric Air Sampler


Environmental Exposure Unit

filter cassette

37-mm open-faced filter cassette with a microporous filter


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This study was funded by the Kingston General Hospital Allergy Research Fund. We thank Dr. Brian Flannigan, Scottish Centre for Pollen Studies, Napier University, Edinburgh and Mrs. Francis Coates, Aerobiology Research, Ottawa for helpful comments on the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew J. Heffer
    • 1
  • Jodan D. Ratz
    • 1
  • J. David. Miller
    • 2
    Email author
  • James H. Day
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Allergy and ImmunologyKingston General HospitalKingstonCanada
  2. 2.Department of Chemistry, Ottawa-Carleton Institute of ChemistryCollege of Natural Sciences, Carleton UniversityOttawaCanada

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