Project at a Glance

Title: Deposition of particles in children's lungs

Principal Investigator / Author(s): Phalen, Robert F

Contractor: Air Pollution Health Effects Laboratory, Department of Community and Environmental Medicine, UC Irvine

Contract Number: A0-128-32

Research Program Area: Health & Exposure

Topic Areas: Health Effects of Air Pollution


In support of predictions for inhaled particle deposition, morphometric measurements were taken on 20 replica airway casts of people aged 11 days to 21 years. Measurements of right upper lobe airway lengths, diameters, and branching angles were made such that a growth model suitable as input to predictive equations for particle deposition efficiency was obtained. The tracheobronchial airways growth was describable by linear regressions on body length. The length to diameter ratio of growing airways did not change in any simple way as a function of airway generation. Airflow rates for a given state of physical activity for various ages were found from previously published data to be describable by linear regressions on body mass. Three states of physical exertion, low activity, light exertion and heavy exertion were used for modeling purposes. The computed particle deposition efficiencies indicate that under most circumstances smaller (younger) people will have greater tracheobronchial deposition efficiencies than larger (older) people. For example, tracheobronchial dose on a per kg body mass basis for five micrometer diameter particles may be more than six times higher in the resting newborn than in the resting adult assuming equivalent deposition efficiencies above the larynx.

For questions regarding this research project, including available data and progress status, contact: Research Division staff at (916) 445-0753

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