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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Influence of moisturizer and relative humidity on human emissions of fluorescent biological aerosol particles

  • Author(s): Zhou, Jin
  • Fang, Wenjuan
  • Cao, Qingliang
  • Yang, Linyan
  • Chang, Victor W.-C.
  • Nazaroff, William W
  • et al.

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The data associated with this publication are in the supplemental files.

Utilizing the ultraviolet-light induced fluorescence (UV-LIF) measurement technique as embodied in the Waveband-Integrated Bioaerosol Sensor (WIBS-4A), we evaluated the fluorescent particle emissions associated with human shedding while walking in a chamber. The mean emission rates of supermicron (1-10 µm) fluorescent particles was in the range 6.8-7.5 million particles per person-h (~ 0.3 mg per person-h) across three participants, for conditions when the relative humidity was 60-70% and no moisturizer was applied after showering. The fluorescent particles displayed a lognormal distribution with the geometric mean diameter in the range 2.5-4 µm and exhibited asymmetry factors that increased with particle size. Use of moisturizer was associated with changes in number and mass emission rates, size distribution and particle shape. Emission rates were lower when the relative humidity was reduced, but these differences were not statistically significant.

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