Biological Agents

Moulds, bacteria, endotoxins: Measurement, analysis and consultation

Moulds - mixed culture, Source: IFA


Moulds - LM-micrograph, Source: IFA

The "Biological Agents" section in the Chemical and Biological Hazards Department is the contact-point for all questions concerning possible hazards posed by biological agents at the workplace.

Key tasks of the section are consulting and research on the following topics:

  • Issues relating to workplace biosubstances
  • Production of guides to risk assessment
  • Development of measurement and analysis methods for biosubstances
  • Standardization in the area of bioaerosol measurement

In the MGU measurement system for exposure assessment of the German Social Accident Insurance Institutions, the "Biological Agents" section supports these institutions in the following tasks:

  • Training of authorized staff in microbiological sampling techniques
  • Performance of measurements of biological agents (measurement strategy, analysis methods, classification, evaluation)
  • Development of standard methods
  • Quality assurance during sampling and analysis
  • Issues concerning methods and application
  • Organization of measurement programmes for biosubstances
  • Analysis of microbiological samples (study of atmospheric and material samples for fungi, bacteria, endotoxins and further biosubstances).

Where necessitated by the problem at hand, the IFA's microbiological laboratory works in conjunction with external laboratories.

The Biological Agents section is involved in addressing biological issues in a number of expert committees and subcommittees of the German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV).

The interests of the German Social Accident Insurance institutions are also represented on state committees such as Subcommittees 1 and 2 of the ABAS committee for biological agents. In ABAS UA 1, the unit is responsible for heading the workplace assessment working group. The unit's technical experience is channelled into the work of establishing guidelines and standards in the area of bioaerosols at the VDI/DIN-Commission on Air Pollution Prevention (KRdL) and into the specialist group for quality assurance and diagnostics of the Association for General and Applied Microbiology (VAAM).


Dr Annette Kolk

Chemical and biological hazards

Tel: +49 30 13001 3240
Fax: +49 30 13001 38001

More information

Technical information

on biological agents
(in German)