The number of respiratory particles emitted during different respiratory activities is one of the main parameters affecting the airborne transmission of respiratory pathogens. Information on respiratory particle emission rates is mostly available for adults (few studies have investigated adolescents and children) and generally involves a limited number of subjects. In the present paper we attempted to reduce this knowledge gap by conducting an extensive experimental campaign to measure the emission of respiratory particles of more than 400 children aged 6 to 12 years while they pronounced a phonetically balanced word list at two different voice intensity levels (“speaking” and “loudly speaking”). Respiratory particle concentrations, particle distributions, and exhaled air flow rates were measured to estimate the respiratory particle emission rate. Sound pressure levels were also simultaneously measured. We found out that median respiratory particle emission rates for speaking and loudly speaking were 26 particles s−1 (range 7.1–93 particles s−1) and 41 particles s−1 (range 10–146 particles s−1), respectively. Children sex was significant for emission rates, with higher emission rates for males during both speaking and loudly speaking. No effect of age on the emission rates was identified. Concerning particle size distributions, for both respiratory activities, a main mode at approximately 0.6 µm and a second minor mode at < 2 µm were observed, and no differences were found between males and females. This information provides important input parameters in predictive models adopted to estimate the transmission risk of airborne pathogens in indoor spaces.

Respiratory particle emission rates from children during speaking

Caracci E.;Stabile L.;Buonanno G.
2023-01-01

Abstract

The number of respiratory particles emitted during different respiratory activities is one of the main parameters affecting the airborne transmission of respiratory pathogens. Information on respiratory particle emission rates is mostly available for adults (few studies have investigated adolescents and children) and generally involves a limited number of subjects. In the present paper we attempted to reduce this knowledge gap by conducting an extensive experimental campaign to measure the emission of respiratory particles of more than 400 children aged 6 to 12 years while they pronounced a phonetically balanced word list at two different voice intensity levels (“speaking” and “loudly speaking”). Respiratory particle concentrations, particle distributions, and exhaled air flow rates were measured to estimate the respiratory particle emission rate. Sound pressure levels were also simultaneously measured. We found out that median respiratory particle emission rates for speaking and loudly speaking were 26 particles s−1 (range 7.1–93 particles s−1) and 41 particles s−1 (range 10–146 particles s−1), respectively. Children sex was significant for emission rates, with higher emission rates for males during both speaking and loudly speaking. No effect of age on the emission rates was identified. Concerning particle size distributions, for both respiratory activities, a main mode at approximately 0.6 µm and a second minor mode at < 2 µm were observed, and no differences were found between males and females. This information provides important input parameters in predictive models adopted to estimate the transmission risk of airborne pathogens in indoor spaces.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11580/107327
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