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Title: Aerosols from speaking can linger in the air for up to nine hours
Authors: Ding, Shirun
Teo, Zhen Wei
Wan, Man Pun
Ng, Bing Feng
Keywords: Engineering::Mechanical engineering
Issue Date: 2021
Source: Ding, S., Teo, Z. W., Wan, M. P. & Ng, B. F. (2021). Aerosols from speaking can linger in the air for up to nine hours. Building and Environment, 205, 108239-.
Project: 04INS000329C160 
Journal: Building and Environment 
Abstract: Airborne transmission of respiratory diseases has been under intense spotlight in the context of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) where continued resurgence is linked to the relaxation of social interaction measures. To understand the role of speech aerosols in the spread of COVID-19 globally, the lifetime and size distribution of the aerosols are studied through a combination of light scattering observation and aerosol sampling. It was found that aerosols from speaking suspended in stagnant air for up to 9 h with a half-life of 87.2 min. The half-life of the aerosols declined with the increase in air change per hour from 28 to 40 min (1 h-1), 10-14 min (4 h-1), to 4-6 min (9 h-1). The speech aerosols in the size range of about 0.3-2 μm (after dehydration) witnessed the longest lifetime compared to larger aerosols (2-10 μm). These results suggest that speech aerosols have the potential to transmit respiratory viruses across long duration (hours), and long-distance (over social distance) through the airborne route. These findings are important for researchers and engineers to simulate the airborne dispersion of viruses in indoor environments and to design new ventilation systems in the future.
ISSN: 0360-1323
DOI: 10.1016/j.buildenv.2021.108239
Schools: School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering 
Rights: © 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. This paper was published in Building and Environment and is made available with permission of Elsevier Ltd
Fulltext Permission: embargo_20231207
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:MAE Journal Articles

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