Impact of human presence on secondary organic aerosols derived from ozone-initiated chemistry in a simulated office environment

Moshood O. Fadeyi, Charles J. Weschler, Kwok W. Tham, Wei Y. Wu, Zuraimi M. Sultan

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Several studies have documented reductions in indoor ozone levels that occur as a consequence of its reactions with the exposed skin, hair and clothing of human occupants. One would anticipate that consumption of ozone via such reactions would impact co-occurring products derived from ozone's reactions with various indoor pollutants. The present study examines this possibility for secondary organic aerosols (SOA) derived from ozone-initiated chemistry with limonene, a commonly occurring indoor terpene. The experiments were conducted at realistic ozone and limonene concentrations in a 240 m3 chamber configured to simulate a typical open office environment. During an experiment the chamber was either unoccupied or occupied with 18-20 workers. Ozone and particle levels were continuously monitored using a UV photometric ozone analyzer and a fast mobility particle sizer (FMPS), respectively. Under otherwise identical conditions, when workers were present in the simulated office the ozone concentrations were approximately two-thirds and the SOA mass concentrations were approximately one-half of those measured when the office was unoccupied. This was observed whether new or used filters were present in the air handling system. These results illustrate the importance of accounting for occupancy when estimating human exposure to pollutants in various indoor settings. © 2013 American Chemical Society.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Science & Technology (Washington)
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)3933-3941
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Aerosols
  • Experiments
  • Monoterpenes
  • Ozone

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