Human Emissions of Size-Resolved Fluorescent Aerosol Particles: Influence of Personal and Environmental Factors

Shen Yang, Gabriel Bekö, Pawel Wargocki, Jonathan Williams, Dusan Licina*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Human emissions of fluorescent aerosol particles (FAPs) can influence the biological burden of indoor air. Yet, quantification of FAP emissions from human beings remains limited, along with a poor understanding of the underlying emission mechanisms. To reduce the knowledge gap, we characterized human emissions of size-segregated FAPs (1-10 μm) and total particles in a climate chamber with low-background particle levels. We probed the influence of several personal factors (clothing coverage and age) and environmental parameters (level of ozone, air temperature, and relative humidity) on particle emissions from human volunteers. A material-balance model showed that the mean emission rate ranged 5.3-16 × 106 fluorescent particles per person-h (0.30-1.2 mg per person-h), with a dominant size mode within 3-5 μm. Volunteers wearing long-sleeve shirts and pants produced 40% more FAPs relative to those wearing t-shirts and shorts. Particle emissions varied across the age groups: seniors (average age 70.5 years) generated 50% fewer FAPs compared to young adults (25.0 years) and teenagers (13.8 years). While we did not observe a measurable influence of ozone (0 vs 40 ppb) on human FAP emissions, there was a strong influence of relative humidity (34 vs 62%), with FAP emissions decreasing by 30-60% at higher humidity.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Volume55
Pages (from-to)509–518
ISSN0013-936X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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