The size and concentration of droplets generated by coughing in human subjects

Shinhao Yang, Grace W.M. Lee*, Cheng Min Chen, Chih Cheng Wu, Kuo Pin Yu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

357 Scopus citations

Abstract

This work investigated the size distribution of the droplet nuclei and coughed droplets by test subjects. The size distributions of droplet nuclei coughed by test subjects were determined with an aerodynamic particle sizer (APS) and scanning mobility particle sizer (SMPS) system (system 1). Coughed droplets were only sampled with the APS system (system 2). Two different schemes were employed in system 2. Furthermore, the size distribution of coughed droplets of different ages and gender was investigated to identify the effects of age and gender on droplet size distribution. Results indicated the total average size distribution of the droplet nuclei was 0.58-5.42 μm, and 82% of droplet nuclei centered in 0.74-2.12 μm. The entire average size distribution of the coughed droplets was 0.62-15.9 μm, and the average mode size was 8.35 μm. The size distribution of the coughed droplets was multimodal. The size distribution of coughed droplets showed three peaks at approximately 1 μm, 2 μm, and 8 μm. These analytical findings indicate that variation for average droplet size among the three age groups was insignificant (p > 0.1). Moreover, the variation in average droplet size between males and females was also insignificant (p > 0.1). Also, the variation in droplet concentration between males and females was significant (p > 0.1). Droplet nuclei concentrations from male subjects were considerably higher than that from females. Comparison of the droplet concentrations for subjects in different age groups demonstrated that subjects in the 30-50-year age group have the largest droplet concentrations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)484-494
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Aerosol Medicine and Pulmonary Drug Delivery
Volume20
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2007

Keywords

  • Age
  • Coughed droplet
  • Droplet nuclei
  • Gender
  • Size distribution

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