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J Aerosol Med. 2007 Winter;20(4):484-94.

The size and concentration of droplets generated by coughing in human subjects.

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  • 1Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Toko University, Taiwan, Republic of China.

Abstract

This work investigated the size distribution of the droplet nuclei and coughed droplets by test subjects. The size distributions of droplet nuclei coughed by test subjects were determined with an aerodynamic particle sizer (APS) and scanning mobility particle sizer (SMPS) system (system 1). Coughed droplets were only sampled with the APS system (system 2). Two different schemes were employed in system 2. Furthermore, the size distribution of coughed droplets of different ages and gender was investigated to identify the effects of age and gender on droplet size distribution. Results indicated the total average size distribution of the droplet nuclei was 0.58-5.42 microm, and 82% of droplet nuclei centered in 0.74-2.12 microm. The entire average size distribution of the coughed droplets was 0.62-15.9 microm, and the average mode size was 8.35 microm. The size distribution of the coughed droplets was multimodal. The size distribution of coughed droplets showed three peaks at approximately 1 microm, 2 microm, and 8 microm. These analytical findings indicate that variation for average droplet size among the three age groups was insignificant (p > 0.1). Moreover, the variation in average droplet size between males and females was also insignificant (p > 0.1). Also, the variation in droplet concentration between males and females was significant (p > 0.1). Droplet nuclei concentrations from male subjects were considerably higher than that from females. Comparison of the droplet concentrations for subjects in different age groups demonstrated that subjects in the 30-50-year age group have the largest droplet concentrations.

PMID:
18158720
DOI:
10.1089/jam.2007.0610
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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