Determination of airborne nanoparticles in elderly care centers(Article)

Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health - Part A: Current Issues

Journal Article

According to numerous studies, airborne nanoparticles have a potential to produce serious adverse human health effects when deposited into the respiratory tract. The most important parts of the lung are the alveolar regions with their enormous surface areas and potential to transfer nanoparticles into the blood stream. These effects may be potentiated in case of the elderly, since this population is more susceptible to air pollutants in general and more to nanoparticles than larger particles. The main goal of this investigation was to determine the exposure of institutionalized elders to nanoparticles using Nanoparticle Surface Area Monitor (NSAM) equipment to calculate the deposited surface area (DSA) of nanoparticles into elderly lungs. In total, 193 institutionalized individuals over 65 yr of age were examined in four elderly care centers (ECC). The occupancy daily pattern was achieved by applying a questionnaire, and it was concluded that these subjects spent most of their time indoors, including the bedroom and living room, the indoor microenvironments with higher prevalence of elderly occupancy. The deposited surface area ranged from 10 to 46 μm2/cm3. The living rooms presented significantly higher levels compared with bedrooms. Comparing PM10 concentrations with nanoparticles deposited surface area in elderly lungs, it is conceivable that living rooms presented the highest concentration of PM 10 and were similar to the highest average DSA. The temporal distribution of DSA was also assessed. While data showed a quantitative fluctuation in values in bedrooms, high peaks were detected in living rooms. Copyright © 2014 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

M. Almeida-Silva

S.M. Almeida

H.T. Wolterbeek


Year of publication: 2014


ISSN: 15287394


DOI: 10.1080/15287394.2014.910157

Alternative Titles