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Health safety


Aerobiocontamination measurement to address public health issues.

The context:

Microbiological surveillance of ambiant air is currently a major concern. By helping detect pathological germs or viruses hazardous to human health, it addresses public health issues within health facilities, public places as well as workplaces

The request:

In 2014, the Laboratories section received accreditation extension requests for the evaluation of aerobiocontamination. The requests concerned evaluation testing of the microbiological quality of air using germ impactors in clean rooms and controlled environment.

Our approach:

As recognised methods exist, the accreditation domain could be opened quickly. Regarding the air microbiology activity, the preparation of air samples, prior to the count and identification of pathogenic micro-organisms, was a paramount stage. Being relatively standardised, the microbiological sampling and analysis did not represent an issue. The various air sampling methods were included in the accreditation scope. The working group notably focused on the equipments used and on the possible connection to the International System of Units (SI): two essential conditions to make sure it was compatible with ISO/IEC 17025 standard.

The outcome:

In place since the 1st January 2016, this new accreditation scheme helps evaluate and acknowledge the technical competency as well as the impartiality of evaluation testing laboratories in indoor air (facilities open to the public, housing units), workplaces air (buildings presenting specific pollution) and controlled environment (health facilities, laboratories…).

« Measurements performed under accreditation will guarantee that the ventilation systems fit the needs of the public as well as the workers, and that the maintenance is compliant with current technical regulations. »

Géraldine Coussy, Development and Promotion Manager, Laboratories section.

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