||Northrop Services, Inc., Research Triangle Park, NC. ;Duke Univ., Durham, NC.;Health Effects Research Lab., Research Triangle Park, NC.
The effect of 'acid air' on human health was studied by considering the effects of hygroscopicity upon aerosol deposition in the lung as a function of human subject age. Children are a critical sub-population to be incorporated into health effects analyses following ambient exposures. Sulfate particles are products of the combustion of fossil fuels, are consequences of basic personal needs and industrial uses, and are prevalent in the atmosphere. Experimental hygroscopic growth information is introduced into a validated mathematical model describing aerosol deposition in the human lung. The results are intended for hazard evaluations pertinent to humans subsequent to exposures to pollutant atmospheres. The influences of hygroscopic growth, taking place when inhaled particles enter the warm, moist human respiratory tract, are significant; and should not be ignored in considerations of threat-to-human-health. The findings can be directed into aerosol therapy functions also, leading to more efficient administrations of drugs via the inhalation route. Therefore, the findings, considering age-dependency, are of potential application to pediatric medicine.