Measuring Aerosol Particle Behaviour due to Human Activity for Re-Exposure Evaluation

A. McDonagh, R. G. Sextro and M. A. Byrne

The transport and fate of indoor aerosols have been extensively studied both experimentally and theoretically, see Andersson et al. ’04, Lai ’02, Karlsson et al. ’02, for example.  Less attention has been given to the subsequent behaviour of deposited aerosols.  For example, deposited aerosol can be spread from one surface to another through the processes of resuspension and contact transfer. The process of surface to surface contact will usually involve human activity. A study was conducted with the aim of quantifying the mass transfer efficiency of deposited particles when various soft and hard surfaces come in contact. The surfaces used were 100 % cotton, synthetic fleece, plastic laminate and brass. Contact transfer efficiencies ranging from 2 to 45 % were observed. Other observations include an increase in the mass transferred with increased surface roughness. An increase in the applied pressure between the two surfaces in contact leads to two pressure regions, with a transition pressure between the two that depends upon the surface types. Time of contact and contaminant loading appear to have little to no effect on the mass transfer efficiency.

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