Accurate assessment of exposure using tracer gas measurements

Wojciech Kierat*, Mariya Bivolarova, Eva Zavrl, Zbigniew Popiolek, Arsen Melikov

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

Room airflow interaction, particularly in the breathing zone, is important to assess exposure to indoor air pollution. A breathing thermal manikin was used to simulate a room occupant with the convective boundary layer (CBL) generated around the body and the respiratory flow. Local airflow against the face of the manikin was applied to increase the complexity of the airflow interaction. CO2 was released at the armpits and N2O at the groin to simulate the respective bio-effluents generated at these two body sites. The tracer gas concentration at the mouth/nose of the manikin was measured with gas analyzers with short and long response times, respectively. The tracer gas concentration was characterized by the mean, standard deviation and 95th percentile values. The results revealed that the measurement time needed to determine, with sufficient accuracy, these parameters decreased substantially with a decrease in the response time of the gas analyzer. When only CBL was present, shorter measurement time was needed for the accurate concentration measurement of the tracer gas released close to the breathing zone. For more complex flow, as a result of CBL interaction with the exhalation flow, the needed measurement time was longer. It has been concluded that the accurate exposure assessment requires that the concentration measurements are performed only during the inhalation period. Therefore, gas analysers with low response time and sampling time that is considerably shorter than the inhalation period have to be used.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBuilding and Environment
Volume131
Pages (from-to)163-173
ISSN0360-1323
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Keywords

  • Tracer gas concentration measurement
  • Response time of gas analyzer
  • Flow interaction
  • Breathing
  • Exposure

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