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Particle Resuspension in School Gyms during Physical Activities

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Volume: 12 | Issue: 5 | Pages: 803-813
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2011.11.0209
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G. Buonanno 1,2, F.C. Fuoco1, S. Marini1, L. Stabile1

  • 1 Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering, University of Cassino and Southern Lazio, (null), Italy
  • 2 Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia


The aim of this work was to quantify the exposure of children to particle resuspension in school gyms. In fact, although moderate standard aerobic activity is suggested for good health, adverse health effects could affect people exercising in micro-environments with ambient pollution. Overall, 12 micro-environments were chosen and analyzed in a 3-month experimental campaign. The different fractions of particulate matter (PM) were measured by means of photometers, calibrated for the specific aerosols studied through gravimetric samplers, whereas particle number distributions in the 0.5–20 μm range were continuously measured using an Aerodynamic Particle Sizer (APS) spectrometer. High PM concentration levels were measured in school gyms compared to outdoor values. The dominant source is the particle resuspension produced by the activity of exercising pupils and, among the various PM fractions, the effect on coarse particles (PM10–2.5) was found to be the most important, with the related emissions factors measured in the range of 1.5–8.9 mg/min. During school activities, under natural ventilation conditions, the average coarse particle concentrations at the 12 school gyms investigated were found to be 4.8 ± 2.0 times higher than the background (outdoor) values. The key parameters are the number and intensity of the physical activities, which can be characterized by the total energy used by the students. Therefore, this study provides useful data on the exposure of students to airborne particles during periods of physical activity in gyms with natural ventilation.


Particle resuspension Coarse particles Human activity Indoor Schools

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