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Indoor Bioaerosol Dynamics

  • Author(s): Nazaroff, William W
  • et al.
Abstract

Inhaling indoor air is the primary means by which humans are exposed to bioaerosols. Considering bacteria, fungi, viruses, this paper reviews the dynamic processes that govern indoor concentrations and fates of biological particulate material. Bioaerosol behavior is coupled to particle size; this paper emphasizes the range 0.1-10 μm in aerodynamic diameter. The principle of material balance allows concentrations to be determined from knowledge of important source and removal processes. Sources reviewed here include outdoor air introduced by ventilation plus indoor emission from occupants, occupant activities, and moldy materials. Important mechanisms that remove bioaerosols from indoor air include ventilation, deposition onto indoor surfaces, and active filtration. The review summarizes knowledge about size-dependent particle deposition in different regions of the respiratory tract, techniques for measuring indoor bioaerosols, and evidence for diseases caused by airborne exposure to bioaerosols. Future research challenges and opportunities are highlighted.

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