The aim of this study was to address existing data gaps and to determine the size distribution of aerosols associated with water-efficient devices during typical domestic activities. This information is important to assist in understanding infection spread during water-using activities and in designing water regulations. Three water-using scenarios were evaluated: i) showering using a water-efficient showerhead; ii) use of a high pressure spray unit for cleaning cars and iii) toilet flushing using a dual flush low volume flush device. For each scenario a control condition (conventional lower efficiency device) was selected for benchmarking purposes. Shower module results highlighted the complexity of particle generation and removal processes and showed that more than 90% of total particle mass in the breathing zone was attributed to particle diameters greater than 6 μm. Conversely, results for car washing experiments showed that particle diameters up to 6 μm constituted the major part of the total mass generated by both water-efficient and conventional devices. Even under worse case scenario conditions for toilet flushing, particle measurements were at or below the level of detection of the measuring instrumentation. The data provide information that assists in health risk assessment and in determining future research directions, including methodological aspects.
Risk in the mist? Deriving data to quantify microbial health risks associated with aerosol generation by water-efficient devices during typical domestic water-using activities
J. O'Toole, M. Keywood, M. Sinclair, K. Leder; Risk in the mist? Deriving data to quantify microbial health risks associated with aerosol generation by water-efficient devices during typical domestic water-using activities. Water Sci Technol 1 December 2009; 60 (11): 2913–2920. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/wst.2009.722
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