Methodology for identifying particle sources in indoor environments
Growing concern about airborne particles in indoor environments requires fast source identification in order to apply remedial actions. A methodology for identifying sources emitting particles larger than 0.5 μm was designed and applied. It includes: (1) visual inspection of interior surfaces in order to identify deposited particles and inspection of potential sources (equipment, materials, activities etc.) of airborne particles. (2) Technical measurements of airborne particles at different positions in a building with simultaneous logging of activities. (3) Isolating potential activities/particle sources in a test chamber, initially free from particles, for controlled characterizations of the particles generated. The methodology was applied in a study of three houses in southern Sweden. The results show that source identification is facilitated by knowledge of concentration variations between different rooms, real-time measurements together with activity reports and information on particle characteristics that are comparable with results from laboratory simulations. In the houses to which the methodology was applied, major particle emissions from textile handling were identified, which were likely due to detergent zeolite residues.