Source Strengths for Indoor Human Activities that Resuspend Particulate Matter

A mathematical model was applied to continuous indoor and outdoor particulate matter (PM) measurements to estimate source strengths for a variety of prescribed human activities that resuspend house dust in the home. Activities included folding blankets, folding clothes, dry dusting, making a bed, dancing on a rug, dancing on a wood floor, vacuuming, and walking around and sitting on upholstered furniture. Although most of the resuspended particle mass from these activities was larger than 5 μm in diameter, the resuspension of PM2.5 and PM5 was substantial, with source strengths ranging from 0.03 to 0.5 mg min-1 for PM2.5 and from 0.1 to 1.4 mg min-1 for PM5. Source strengths for PM > 5 μm could not be quantified due to instrument limitations. The source strengths were found to be a function of the number of persons performing the activity, the vigor of the activity, the type of activity, and the type of flooring.