Fly ash is a common solid residue of incineration plants and poses a great environmental concern because of its toxicity upon inhalation exposure. The inhalation health impacts of fly ash is closely related to its transport and deposition in the human respiratory system which warrants significant research for health guideline setting and inhalation exposure protection. In this study, a series of fly ash transport and deposition experiments have been carried out in a bifurcation airway model by optical aerosol sampling analysis. Three types of fly ash samples of different morphologies were tested and their respiratory deposition and transport processes were compared. The deposition efficiencies were calculated and relevant transport dynamics mechanisms were discussed. The influences of physiological conditions such as breathing rate, duration, and fly ash physical properties (size, morphology, and specific surface area) were investigated. The deposition characteristics of respiratory particles containing SARS-CoV-2 has also been analyzed, which could further provide some guidance on COVID-19 prevention. The results could potentially serve as a basis for setting health guidelines and recommending personal respiratory protective equipment for fly ash handlers and people who are in the high exposure risk environment for COVID-19 transmission.
Yao, Z., Zhao, T., Su, W., You, S. & Wang, C. 2022, 'Towards understanding respiratory particle transport and deposition in the human respiratory system: effects of physiological conditions and particle properties', Journal of Hazardous Materials, 439, article no: 129669. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2022.129669