Characterization of airborne particles from cleaning sprays and their corresponding respiratory deposition fractions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Cleaning workers are exposed to many risk factors, including handling of cleaning products. Epidemiological studies show that they have a high incidence of asthma and other respiratory symptoms. Some studies have indicated an even higher incidence of asthma in individuals using cleaning sprays regularly. It is known that sprays produce an aerosol that can expose the respiratory system to chemicals. Knowledge of the physical characteristics of the airborne particles, as well as the characteristics of the gas phase, is needed to determine how they affect the respiratory tract and why they cause airway symptoms. The aim of this study was to characterize the aerosols from seven different ready-to-use trigger cleaning sprays in terms of total airborne mass fraction, particle size distribution, and new particle formation from ozone reactions. An additional aim was to calculate the respiratory deposition fraction of the measured particles. The total airborne mass fraction was determined by comparing the mass deposited on the chamber wall with the mass emitted from the bottle during spraying. Particle number concentration and size distribution of the airborne particles were measured using an aerodynamic particle sizer and a fast aerosol mobility size spectrometer. The total airborne mass fraction was between 2.7% and 32.2% of the mass emitted from the bottle, depending on the product. Between 0.0001% and 0.01% of the total airborne mass fraction consisted of residual particles. However, these particles had a mass median aerodynamic diameter between 1.9 µm and 3.7 µm, constituting a total respiratory deposition of up to 77%. New particle formation in the presence of ozone was also shown to vary between 5,000 cm−3 and 35,000 cm−3 depending on the product, in the studied settings. These findings confirm that a substantial part (up to 1/3) of the mass sprayed from the bottle does not reach the intended surface. Thus, the use of cleaning sprays can result in chemical airway exposure, with particles in the relevant size range for both nasal and alveolar deposition.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics


  • Aerosol characterization, occupational exposure, particle size distribution, respiratory deposition fraction
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)656-667
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
Issue number9
Early online date2019 Jul 30
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication categoryResearch

Related research output

Karin Lovén, 2020 Apr 21, Lund: Division of Ergonomics and Aerosol Technology, Department of Design Sciences Lund University. 73 p.

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (compilation)

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