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Size-Resolved Deposition Rates for Ultrafine and Submicrometer Particles in a Residential Housing Unit

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journal contribution
posted on 02.09.2014, 00:00 by Wan-Chen Lee, Jack M. Wolfson, Paul J. Catalano, Stephen N. Rudnick, Petros Koutrakis
We estimated the size-resolved particle deposition rates for the ultrafine and submicrometer particles using a nonlinear regression method with unknown particle background concentrations during nonsourced period following a controlled sourced period in a well-mixed residential environment. A dynamic adjustment method in conjunction with the constant injection of tracer gas was used to maintain the air exchange rate at three target levels across the range of 0.61–1.24 air change per hour (ACH). Particle deposition was found to be highly size dependent with rates ranging from 0.68 ± 0.10 to 5.03 ± 0.20 h–1 (mean ± s.e.). Our findings also suggest that the effect of air exchange on the particle deposition under enhanced air mixing was relatively small when compared to both the strong influence of size-dependent deposition mechanisms and the effects of mechanical air mixing by fans. Nonetheless, the significant association between air exchange and particle deposition rates for a few size categories indicated potential influence of air exchange on particle deposition. In the future, the proposed approach can be used to explore the separate or composite effects between air exchange and air mixing on particle deposition rates, which will contribute to improved assessment of human exposure to ultrafine and submicrometer particles.