Particle deposition in airways of chronic respiratory patients exposed to an urban aerosol
Faculty of Sciences. Chemistry
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Environmental science and technology / American Chemical Society. - Easton, Pa
, p. 12162-12169
University of Antwerp
Urban atmospheres in modern cities carry characteristic mixtures of particulate pollution which are potentially aggravating for chronic respiratory patients (CRP). Although air quality surveys can be detailed, the obtained information is not always useful to evaluate human health effects. This paper presents a novel approach to estimate particle deposition rates in airways of CRP, based on real air pollution data. By combining computational fluid dynamics with physical-chemical characteristics of particulate pollution, deposition rates are estimated for particles of different toxicological relevance, that is, minerals, iron oxides, sea salts, ammonium salts, and carbonaceous particles. Also, it enables some qualitative evaluation of the spatial, temporal, and patient specific effects on the particle dose upon exposure to the urban atmosphere. Results show how heavy traffic conditions increases the deposition of anthropogenic particles in the trachea and lungs of respiratory patients (here, +0.28 and +1.5 μg·h1, respectively). In addition, local and synoptic meteorological conditions were found to have a strong effect on the overall dose. However, the pathology and age of the patient was found to be more crucial, with highest deposition rates for toxic particles in adults with a mild anomaly, followed by mild asthmatic children and adults with severe respiratory dysfunctions (7, 5, and 3 μg·h1, respectively).