Resuspension of allergen-containing particles under mechanical and aerodynamic disturbances from human walking

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This study presents and develops a controlled and characterized method to explore the influence of specific occupant activity on the aerosolization of allergen-containing particles. Indoor allergen-related diseases are primarily inhalation sensitized and developed, suggesting an aerobiological pathway of allergen-containing carrier particles from dust reservoir to occupant respiration. But the pathways are not well understood or quantified. The influence of occupant walking on particle aerosolization is simulated by a system in which complex floor disturbances are deconvoluted into aerodynamic and mechanical components. Time resolved particle size distributions are measured for particles resuspended from representative samples of flooring materials and different types of floor disturbances in an environmentally controlled experimental chamber. Results indicate aerodynamic disturbances, relative to mechanical, dominate the particle resuspension behavior. Dust type, dust load and floor type showed marginal influences on a normalized surface loading basis. Humidity effects were not clear since during experiments the floor samples may not have reached moisture partitioning equilibrium with the controlled air humidity. Average resuspension rates ranged from 10-7 to 10-3 min-1, having phenomenological consistency with previous, large room or chamber investigations, suggesting the method can be utilized to develop a database for particle resuspension rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5257-5270
Number of pages14
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Issue number25
StatePublished - Aug 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Environmental Science
  • Atmospheric Science


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