Environmental Geochemistry and Health

, Volume 40, Issue 6, pp 2511–2524 | Cite as

Indoor particle dynamics in a school office: determination of particle concentrations, deposition rates and penetration factors under naturally ventilated conditions

  • X. C. CongEmail author
  • J. J. Zhao
  • Z. Jing
  • Q. G. Wang
  • P. F. Ni
Original Paper


Recently, the problem of indoor particulate matter pollution has received much attention. An increasing number of epidemiological studies show that the concentration of atmospheric particulate matter has a significant effect on human health, even at very low concentrations. Most of these investigations have relied upon outdoor particle concentrations as surrogates of human exposures. However, considering that the concentration distribution of the indoor particulate matter is largely dependent on the extent to which these particles penetrate the building and on the degree of suspension in the indoor air, human exposures to particles of outdoor origin may not be equal to outdoor particle concentration levels. Therefore, it is critical to understand the relationship between the particle concentrations found outdoors and those found in indoor micro-environments. In this study, experiments were conducted using a naturally ventilated office located in Qingdao, China. The indoor and outdoor particle concentrations were measured at the same time using an optical counter with four size ranges. The particle size distribution ranged from 0.3 to 2.5 μm, and the experimental period was from April to September, 2016. Based on the experimental data, the dynamic and mass balance model based on time was used to estimate the penetration rate and deposition rate at air exchange rates of 0.03–0.25 h−1. The values of the penetration rate and deposition velocity of indoor particles were determined to range from 0.45 to 0.82 h−1 and 1.71 to 2.82 m/h, respectively. In addition, the particulate pollution exposure in the indoor environment was analyzed to estimate the exposure hazard from indoor particulate matter pollution, which is important for human exposure to particles and associated health effects. The conclusions from this study can serve to provide a better understanding the dynamics and behaviors of airborne particle entering into buildings. And they will also highlight effective methods to reduce exposure to particles in office buildings.


Dynamic mass balance model I/O ratios Air exchange rate Penetration factor Deposition rates 



This study was supported by the Natural Science Foundation of Shandong Province of P. R. China (ZR2016DM06).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • X. C. Cong
    • 1
    Email author
  • J. J. Zhao
    • 1
  • Z. Jing
    • 1
  • Q. G. Wang
    • 1
  • P. F. Ni
    • 1
  1. 1.Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Civil Engineering Disaster Prevention and MitigationShandong University of Science and TechnologyQingdaoChina

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