Removing indoor particles using portable air cleaners: Implications for residential infection transmission

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Journal titleBuilding and Environment
Pages25122519; # of pages: 8
SubjectExpsores; Infection risk; Influenza; Portable air cleaners; Surrogate particles; Electrets; Electrostatic separators; Electrostatics; Houses; Precipitation (chemical); Rating; Shape memory effect; Sodium chloride; Stainless steel; Viruses; Air cleaners; disease transmission; filtration; indoor air; influenza; mass balance; particulate matter; pollution exposure; risk assessment; ventilation; Canada; Quebec [Canada]; Quebec [Quebec (PRV)]; Orthomyxoviridae
AbstractReducing indoor exposure to influenza particles can be an important strategy to manage residential infections. Many portable air cleaning (PAC) technologies are currently employed in residential environments but very little research has been performed to evaluate and compare their performance in terms of particle removal associated with influenza. This study evaluates the effectiveness of portable air cleaners at removing airborne NaCl particles as an analogue to the influenza virus and applies the results to an IAQ mass balance model to evaluate the performance in controlling residential exposures and mitigating infection risks. Various devices representing different PAC technologies were tested using a pull down particle challenge in a full scale stainless steel chamber. Particle generation and measurement were conducted using a 6-jet atomizer and a paired aerodynamic particle sizer (APS)-scanning mobility particle sizer (SMPS), respectively. PAC incorporating HEPA filtration, electrostatic precipitation, ion generation and electret filtration were tested. We found that particle exposures released during a cough or sneeze event in a typical Quebec City residential room in Canada can significantly be reduced using HEPA, electrostatic precipitation and electret filtration PACs when compared with a situation where no PAC is being used. Modelling analysis demonstrates that the use of these PACs can mitigate the risks of influenza infection via airborne route for a caregiver or a spouse sharing the same room. The implications of this study are significant considering low ventilation rates of Quebec City residences. © 2011.
Publication date
AffiliationNational Research Council Canada (NRC-CNRC); NRC Institute for Research in Construction (IRC-IRC)
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number21271186
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Record identifier163be1cf-9514-4803-9c68-0f9f129b8749
Record created2014-03-24
Record modified2016-05-09
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