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1.
Aerosol Air Qual Res ; 22(1)2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1771485

ABSTRACT

Ultrafine particle (i.e., smaller than 100 nm) in the ambient air is a significant public health issue. The inhalation and deposition of ultrafine particles in the human airways can lead to various adverse health effects. Loose-fitting types of masks are commonly used by the general public in some developing countries for protecting against ultrafine particles in the ambient environment. This research conducted a series of laboratory chamber experiments using two sets of particle sizers and two mannequin heads to study the mask efficiency of selected loose-fitting masks. Results acquired demonstrated that the cloth mask showed a low mask efficiency against ultrafine particles with the mask efficiency generally less than 0.4. The KN95 presented a better mask efficiency among all tested masks with the mask efficiency overall larger than 0.5. In addition, the effect of mask-wearing on the change of ultrafine particle airway deposition efficiency was also investigated in this study. The ultrafine particle deposition efficiency in the airway section studied was found to decrease due to mask-wearing, and the decreases of the deposition efficiencies were similar among all loose-fitting masks tested.

2.
Environ Res ; 197: 111096, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1163738

ABSTRACT

This study is motivated by the amplified transmission rates of the SAR-CoV-2 virus in areas with high concentrations of fine particulates (PM2.5) as reported in northern Italy and Mexico. To develop a deeper understanding of the contribution of PM2.5 in the propagation of the SAR-CoV-2 virus in the population, the deposition patterns and efficiencies (DEs) of PM2.5 laced with the virus in healthy and asthmatic airways are studied. Physiologically correct 3-D models for generations 10-12 of the human airways are applied to carry out a numerical analysis of two-phase flow for full breathing cycles. Two concentrations of PM2.5 are applied for the simulation, i.e., 30 µg⋅m-3 and 80 µg⋅m-3 for three breathing statuses, i.e., rest, light exercise, and moderate activity. All the PM2.5 injected into the control volume is assumed to be 100% contaminated with the SAR-CoV-2 virus. Skewed air-flow phenomena at the bifurcations are proportional to the Reynolds number at the inlet, and their intensity in the asthmatic airway exceeded that of the healthy one. Upon exhalation, two peak air-flow vectors from daughter branches combine to form one big vector in the parent generation. Asthmatic airway models has higher deposition efficiencies (DEs) for contaminated PM2.5 as compared to the healthy one. Higher DEs arise in the asthmatic airway model due to complex secondary flows which increase the impaction of contaminated PM2.5 on airways' walls.


Subject(s)
Asthma , Lung , Computer Simulation , Humans , Italy , Mexico , Models, Biological , Particulate Matter/toxicity
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