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J Air Waste Manag Assoc. 2008 Apr;58(4):502-16.

Estimating the resuspension rate and residence time of indoor particles.

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Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY 13699, USA.


Resuspension experiments were performed in a single-family residence. Resuspension by human activity was found to elevate the mass concentration of indoor particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter less than 10 microm (PM10) an average of 2.5 times as high as the background level. As summarized from 14 experiments, the average estimated PM10 resuspension rate by a person walking on a carpeted floor was (1.4 +/- 0.6) x 10(-4) hr(-1). The estimated residence time for PM in the indoor air following resuspension was less than 2 hr for PM10 and less than 3 hr for 2-microm tracer particles. However, experimental results show that the 2-microm tracer particles stayed in the combined indoor air and surface compartments much longer (>>19 days). Using a two-compartment model to simulate a regular deposition and resuspension cycle by normal human activity (e.g., walking and sitting on furniture), we estimated residence time for 2-microm conservative particulate pollutants to be more than 7 decades without vacuum cleaning, and months if vacuum cleaning was done once per week. This finding supports the observed long residence time of persistent organic pollutants in indoor environments. This study introduces a method to evaluate the particle resuspension rate from semicontinuous concentration data of particulate matter (PM). It reveals that resuspension and subsequent exfiltration does not strongly affect the overall residence time of PM pollutants when compared with surface cleaning. However, resuspension substantially increases PM concentration, and thus increases short-term inhalation exposure to indoor PM pollutants.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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