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Time-resolved aerosol and fluorescent bioaerosol concentrations in an air-conditioned and mechanically ventilated office in Singapore

  • Author(s): Zhou, J
  • Chang, VWC
  • Nazaroff, WW
  • et al.
Abstract

© 2015 International Society of Indoor Air Quality and Climate. All rights reserved. Using an ultraviolet-light induced fluorescence (UV-LIF) technique, we measured number concentrations of total aerosol particulate matter (tPM) and fluorescent biological aerosol particles (bioPM) (1.0-3.0 µm and 3.0-5.0 µm diameter) in an office and outdoors, sampling with 1-min resolution. The air-conditioning and mechanical ventilation (ACMV) system equipped with high-grade filters was effective in controlling both tPM and bioPM indoors. As expected, removal efficiencies were found to be size dependent. One human subject walking on the carpet was found to be a strong contributor to bioPM, resulting in 2-3 times higher concentration than that outdoors. Compared to the times when the room is vacant, the biological proportion of total airborne particles increased by an order of magnitude during the light walking period. Consequently, indoor-to-outdoor ratios depend on the ACMV operating conditions and on human activities. This pilot study provides preliminary data concerning the bioPM levels in an indoor environment equipped with an ACMV system. Ongoing investigations using this approach promise to improve our understanding of the processes that influence indoor bioaerosol levels and the effectiveness of control alternatives.

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