Air Sampling to Characterize Airborne Theatrical Fog

Abstract No:


Abstract Type:

Professional Poster 


C Wesley1


1Colden Corporation, Blue Bell, PA


Mr. Chris Wesley, CIH  
Colden Corporation


This presentation describes results from controlled sampling experiments involving direct-reading instruments and laboratory analyses to characterize theatrical fog. We generated theatrical fog and measured different sizes of aerosol particles using direct-reading instruments. Laboratory methods were used to quantify the particulate and vapor phases of fog solution ingredients. Side-by-side, direct-reading and laboratory results were correlated.

Situation / Problem:

What is in theatrical fog used in theaters and for movie and TV production? How should exposures be evaluated? Evaluating exposures to theatrical fog has been a challenge because commonly available direct-reading aerosol meters, such as laser particle counters, are are not calibrated against theatrical fog. There is a need for real-time data. It is also not certain to what extent emissions from fog-generating machines are aerosol vs vapor.


Airborne theatrical fog was measured using three direct-reading laser particle counters with different particle size selecting inlets (impactors). Three sets of measurements under three different fog concentrations, in addition to background concentrations were collected. The particulate and vapor-phase concentrations of multiple chemical ingredients in the liquid fog solution that was used were measured simultaneously.

Results / Conclusions:

Laboratory results are correlated with direct-reading results. Results from direct-reading instruments set-up with different particle size pre-selectors are also compared to generally characterize theatrical fog particle size distribution. The particle size of theatrical fog is in the respirable range. Results from vapor-phase analyses were below the limit of quantification for the sampling and analytical method indicating that particulate monitoring should be adequate.

Primary Topic:


Secondary Topics:

Real-Time Detection Systems
Sampling and Analysis

Acknowledgements and References

List any additional people who worked on the project or provided guidance and support along with details on the role they played in the research. (Please include first name, last name, organization, city, state and country).


Learning Levels

What learning level(s) is the presentation content geared towards?

Competent - can perform to basic standards; has a thorough understanding of the content area but limited practical/work experience in the application of the content/concepts.