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Deposition rates of fungal spores in indoor environments, factors effecting them and comparison with non-biological aerosols

By Hussein Kanaani, Megan Hargreaves, Zoran Ristovski and Lidia Morawska

Abstract

Particle deposition indoors is one of the most important factors that determine the effect of particle exposure on human health. While many studies have investigated the particle deposition of non-biological aerosols, few have investigated biological aerosols and even fewer have studied fungal spore deposition indoors. The purpose of this study was, for the first time, to investigate the deposition rates of fungal particles in a chamber of 20.4 m3 simulating indoor environments by: 1) releasing fungal particles into the chamber, in sufficient concentrations so the particle deposition rates can be statistically analysed; 2) comparing the obtained deposition rates with non-bioaerosol particles of similar sizes, investigated under the same conditions; and 3) investigating the effects of ventilation on the particle deposition rates. The study was conducted for a wide size range of particle sizes (0.54 – 6.24 µm), at three different air exchange rates (0.009, 1.75 and 2.5 h-1). An Ultraviolet Aerodynamic Particle Sizer Spectrometer (UVAPS) was used to monitor the particle concentration decay rate. The study showed that the deposition rates of fungal spores (Aspergillus niger and Penicillium species) and the other aerosols (canola oil and talcum powder) were similar, especially at very low air exchange rates (in the order of 0.009). Both the aerosol and the bioaerosol deposition rates were found to be a function of particle size. The results also showed increasing deposition rates with increasing ventilation rates, for all particles under investigation. These conclusions are important in understanding the dynamics of fungal spores in the air

Topics: 040199 Atmospheric Sciences not elsewhere classified, deposition rate, air exchange rates (AER), fungal particles, fluorescent percentage, ventilation rate
Publisher: Elsevier
Year: 2008
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2008.05.059
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.qut.edu.au:15402

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