The effect of ventilation, age, and asthmatic condition on ultrafine particle deposition in children. Academic Article uri icon


  • Ultrafine particles (UFPs) contribute to health risks associated with air pollution, especially respiratory disease in children. Nonetheless, experimental data on UFP deposition in asthmatic children has been minimal. In this study, the effect of ventilation, developing respiratory physiology, and asthmatic condition on the deposition efficiency of ultrafine particles in children was explored. Deposited fractions of UFP (10-200?nm) were determined in 9 asthmatic children, 8 nonasthmatic children, and 5 nonasthmatic adults. Deposition efficiencies in adults served as reference of fully developed respiratory physiologies. A validated deposition model was employed as an auxiliary tool to assess the independent effect of varying ventilation on deposition. Asthmatic conditions were confirmed via pre-and post-bronchodilator spirometry. Subjects were exposed to a hygroscopic aerosol with number geometric mean diameter of 27-31?nm, geometric standard deviation of 1.8-2.0, and concentration of 1.2 × 10(6) particles cm(-3). Exposure was through a silicone mouthpiece. Total deposited fraction (TDF) and normalized deposition rate were 50% and 32% higher in children than in adults. Accounting for tidal volume and age variation, TDF was 21% higher in asthmatic than in non-asthmatic children. The higher health risks of air pollution exposure observed in children and asthmatics might be augmented by their susceptibility to higher dosages of UFP.

publication date

  • January 1, 2012