Abstract Image

Human-induced resuspension of floor dust is a dynamic process that can serve as a major indoor source of biological particulate matter (bioPM). Inhalation exposure to the microbial and allergenic content of indoor dust is associated with adverse and protective health effects. This study evaluates infant and adult inhalation exposures and respiratory tract deposited dose rates of resuspended bioPM from carpets. Chamber experiments were conducted with a robotic crawling infant and an adult performing a walking sequence. Breathing zone (BZ) size distributions of resuspended fluorescent biological aerosol particles (FBAPs), a bioPM proxy, were monitored in real-time. FBAP exposures were highly transient during periods of locomotion. Both crawling and walking delivered a significant number of resuspended FBAPs to the BZ, with concentrations ranging from 0.5 to 2 cm–3 (mass range: ∼50 to 600 μg/m3). Infants and adults are primarily exposed to a unimodal FBAP size distribution between 2 and 6 μm, with infants receiving greater exposures to super-10 μm FBAPs. In just 1 min of crawling or walking, 103–104 resuspended FBAPs can deposit in the respiratory tract, with an infant receiving much of their respiratory tract deposited dose in their lower airways. Per kg body mass, an infant will receive a nearly four times greater respiratory tract deposited dose of resuspended FBAPs compared to an adult.