Size-resolved emission rates of episodic indoor sources and ultrafine particle dynamics

Su Gwang Jeong, Lance Wallace, Donghyun Rim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Indoor airborne ultrafine particles (UFPs) are mainly originated from occupant activities, such as candle burning and cooking. Elevated exposure to UFPs has been found to increase oxidative stress and cause DNA damage. UFPs originating from indoor sources undergo dynamic aerosol transformation mechanisms. This study investigates the dynamics of UFPs following episodic indoor releases of the six distinct emission sources: 1) candle, 2) gas stove, 3) clothes dryer, 4) tea & toast, 5) broiled fish, and 6) incense. Based on the analytical model of aerosol dynamic processes, this study reports size-resolved source emission rates along with relative contributions of coagulation, deposition, and ventilation to the particle size distribution dynamics. The study findings indicate a significant variation in the geometric mean diameter (GMD) and size-resolved number concentration over time for the sources that emit a substantial amount of UFPs smaller than 10 nm. As the emission progresses, the UFP number concentrations increase in a log-normal distribution, while the GMD shows a tendency to increase over time. The observed result suggests that coagulation can have a considerable impact on UFP number concentration and size, even during the indoor UFP emission. The estimated emission rates of the six indoor sources appear to follow a log-normal distribution while the emission rate ranges from 107 min−1 to 1012 min−1. The indoor UFP concentration and size distribution dynamics are substantially affected by the interplay of the three aerosol loss mechanisms that compete with each other, and this impact varies according to the source type and the indoor environmental conditions. Ultimately, using the aerosol transformation mechanisms examined in this study, researchers can refine exposure assessment for epidemiological studies on indoor ultrafine particles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number122680
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
StatePublished - Dec 1 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Toxicology
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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