Seasonal deposition of housedusts onto household surfaces

Rufus D. Edwards, Edward J. Yurkow, Paul J. Lioy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Seasonal differences in the particle size fractions and mass loadings of household dust deposited on indoor surfaces were examined in four New Jersey homes. Housedust was collected during a 30-day period on non-electrostatic polyethylene sample plates on which a glass slide had been placed. In each home two samples were collected at a height of 1.5 m and two were collected at a height of 0.3 m above the floor. Dust samples were obtained from each home during a summer and winter collection period. Particle size measurement was completed using an adaptation of a Meridian ACAS 570 Interactive Laser Cytometer. Results indicated that the dust mass deposited on household surfaces during the summer was greater than during the winter. The arithmetic mean mass deposition rate for all houses was 0.37±0.13 μg/cm2/day during the summer and 0.22±0.13 μg/cm2/day during the winter. The total number of particles deposited, however, was greater during the winter than during the summer. The increase in winter time particle number was caused by greater numbers of particles with an equivalent spherical diameter <2.5 μm. The most probable source of these particles was winter time combustion emissions within the residences and the subsequent particle deposition on household surfaces. The greater mass loadings measured on the low sampling plates during the summer were associated with a greater number of particles with an equivalent spherical diameter >5 μm. In the winter, however, the particle mass and number loadings were similar at both heights. These results suggested that ventilation of the house during the summer allowed resuspended particles to enter which led to the higher levels of settled dust. Measurement of contaminant levels in housedust for exposure estimation therefore, should account for the seasonal and height differences in dust mass, and collect representative fractions of housedust that are available for human contact. Furthermore, since over 99% of the particles on indoor surfaces were <50 μm any indirect sampling technique for dermal exposure estimation should have collection efficiencies similar to the hand for particles <50 μm. Copyright (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-80
Number of pages12
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Dec 11 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


  • Household dust
  • Particle size fractions
  • Seasonal differences


Dive into the research topics of 'Seasonal deposition of housedusts onto household surfaces'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this