Long duration tests of room air filters in cigarette smokers' homes.
ABSTRACT Information regarding the long-term performance of stand-alone room airfilters is limited. In this study, laboratory and field tests were carried out to determine the effectiveness and performance of room filters that are easily deployed in essentially any type of house. Tests were conducted in houses containing strong PM sources, specifically cigarette smokers. Using commercially available four-speed HEPA filter units, we tested flow rate, pressure drop, and power consumption as a function of fan speed and filter loading. Filters were then deployed in four single-family homes over a 2 month period. Between 15 and 40 cigarettes were smoked daily by several smokers in each home. Occupants were instructed to continuously operate the unit at one of the higher speeds. Periodically, we monitored filter usage, fan speed, particulate matter (PM) mass concentrations, PM number concentrations, volatile organic compound (VOC) levels, and other parameters with the filter fan operating and with filters both installed and removed. The filters decreased PM concentrations by 30-70%, depending on size fraction and occupant activities, and significantly reduced the half-life of PM3-1.0. The half-life of 1-5 microm particles, CO2 concentrations, and VOC concentrations, including 2,5-dimethyl furan (a tracer for environmental tobacco smoke), did not change, indicating that occupancy and cigarette smoking intensity did not change overthe monitoring periods. Occupants generally kept the filters operating at a moderate speed. Filter air flow rates decreased 7-14% with extended operation, largely due to the loading of prefilters. Air exchange rates, deposition loss rates, and clean air delivery rates were estimated from the field data. Continuous operation at an intermediate fan speed would incur a total annualized cost of $236. While acceptance of the filters was very high, occupants might benefit from instructions and reminders to clean the prefilter and to keep the unit on. We conclude that adequately sized room air filters can substantially lower PM concentrations in smoker's homes if air exchange rates are limited and that the filters can maintain their performance over extended periods.
[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The filtration efficiency of ventilation air cleaners is highly particle-size dependent over the 0.01 to 3 μm diameter size range. Current standardized test methods, which determine only overall efficiencies for ambient aerosol or other test aerosols, provide data of limited utility. Because particles in this range are respirable and can remain airborne for prolonged time periods, measurement of air cleaner fractional efficiency is required for application to indoor air quality issues. The objectives of this work have been to 1) develop a test apparatus and procedure to quantify the fractional filtration efficiency of air cleaners over the 0.01 to 3 μm diameter size range and 2) quantify the fractional efficiency of several induct air cleaners typical of those used in residential and office ventilation systems.Results show that efficiency is highly dependent on particle size, flow rate, and dust load present on the air cleaner. A minimum in efficiency was often observed in the 0.1 to 0.5 μm diameter size range. The presence of a dust load frequently increased an air cleaner's efficiency; however, some air cleaners showed little change or a decrease in efficiency with dust loading. The common furnace filter had fractional efficiency values of less than 10% over much of the measurement size range.Indoor Air 04/2004; 4(3):169 - 178. · 2.55 Impact Factor
[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Eleven portable air cleaning devices have been evaluated for control of indoor concentrations of respirable particles using in situ chamber decay tests. Following injection of cigarette smoke in a room-size chamber, decay rates for particle concentrations were obtained for total number concentration and for number concentration by particle size with and without air cleaner operation. The size distribution of the tobacco smoke particles was log normal with a count median diameter of 0.15 μm and a geometric standard deviation of 2.0. Without air cleaner operation, the natural mass-averaged surface deposition rate of particles was observed to be 0.1 h−1. Air cleaning rates for particles were found to be negligible for several small panel-filter devices, a residential-sized ion-generator, and a pair of mixing fans. Electrostatic precipitators and extended surface filters removed particles at substantial rates, and a HEPA-type filter was most efficient air cleaner studied.Atmospheric Environment (1967).
Article: Efficacy of an air-cleaning device equipped with a high efficiency particulate air filter in house dust mite respiratory allergy.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The efficacy of an air-cleaning device equipped with a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter (without further avoidance measures) was studied in patients allergic to house dust mite. The effects of the air-cleaner on indoor Dermatophagoides sp. levels, symptom score and bronchial hyperresponsiveness in nine mite-allergic patients were assessed using a cross-over controlled study. No significant effect was demonstrated on indoor Dermatophagoides sp. levels when comparing the period of air-cleaner activity (2 months) with the control period (2 months). The Dermatophagoides sp. levels in the houses studied were lower than the risk level for asthmatic attacks, making it difficult to assess any effect on asthma; however, neither bronchial hyperresponsiveness nor rhinitis symptom score were changed by air-cleaner activity. During the trial period, however the mean level of Dermatophagoides sp. allergen in the houses changed spontaneously from 4.4 micrograms/g (mean level in the first 2 trial months) to 1.75 micrograms/g of dust (second 2 months) (P less than 0.05). Owing to this change, the mean rhinitis symptom score also decreased (P less than 0.05), even if no significant correlation was demonstrated (r = 0.4 P = 0.089). HEPA filter air-cleaners appear insufficient as substitutes for standard avoidance measures in mite allergic patients.Allergy 12/1991; 46(8):594-600. · 6.27 Impact Factor
Long Duration Tests of Room Air
Filters in Cigarette Smokers’ Homes
S T U A R T B A T T E R M A N , *
C H R I S T O P H E R G O D W I N , A N D
C H U N R O N G J I A
Environmental Health Sciences, University of Michigan,
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2029
Information regarding the long-term performance of
and field tests were carried out to determine the
effectiveness and performance of room filters that are
easily deployed in essentially any type of house. Tests were
conducted in houses containing strong PM sources,
four-speed HEPA filter units, we tested flow rate, pressure
drop, and power consumption as a function of fan
speed and filter loading. Filters were then deployed in
four single-family homes over a 2 month period. Between
15 and 40 cigarettes were smoked daily by several
smokers in each home. Occupants were instructed to
continuously operate the unit at one of the higher speeds.
Periodically, we monitored filter usage, fan speed,
particulate matter (PM) mass concentrations, PM number
concentrations, volatile organic compound (VOC) levels,
and other parameters with the filter fan operating and with
filters both installed and removed. The filters decreased
PM concentrations by 30-70%, depending on size fraction
and occupant activities, and significantly reduced the half-
life of PM0.3-1.0. The half-life of 1-5 µm particles, CO2
concentrations, and VOC concentrations, including 2,5-
dimethyl furan (a tracer for environmental tobacco smoke),
did not change, indicating that occupancy and cigarette
Occupants generally kept the filters operating at a
moderate speed. Filter air flow rates decreased 7-14%
Air exchange rates, deposition loss rates, and clean air
operation at an intermediate fan speed would incur a
total annualized cost of $236. While acceptance of the filters
was very high, occupants might benefit from instructions
and reminders to clean the prefilter and to keep the unit on.
We conclude that adequately sized room air filters can
substantially lower PM concentrations in smoker’s homes
if air exchange rates are limited and that the filters can
maintain their performance over extended periods.
are designed to reduce concentrations of particulate matter
(PM) such as tobacco smoke, pollen, dust mites, animal
might help to ameliorate respiratory problems such as
asthma, which affects a large and growing portion of the
exists regarding their long-term performance. Further, the
literature is mixed regarding the effectiveness of filters in
managing asthma and other respiratory problems, likely a
field tests were conducted to determine the effectiveness of
stand-alone room filters. Extended tests in households
containing strong PM sources, specifically smokers, were
Most American homes have forced air heating systems
(e.g., 81% in Detroit MI (3)), most often an inexpensive and
disposable fiberglass furnace filter. These filters function
mainly to protect the fan and furnace heat exchanger, and
no claims are made regarding particle removal efficiencies.
for 0.02-2 µm diameter particles and <5% for 0.1-0.5 µm
diameter particles (4)). Much more efficient filters are
available, both as new equipment and as upgrades for
filters, electrostatically charged filters, electrostatic precipita-
using space heaters, radiators, and baseboard heating
typically employ no filters. Room air filters may be used in
such houses, as well as in houses with forced air systems, to
provide additional filtration. These units typically employ
medium-to-high efficiency paper filters, although ionizers
and water-washing units are also marketed.
Laboratory and Theoretical Evaluations. Performance
tests and model simulations. Removal efficiency, often
expressed as the clean air delivery rate (CADR), the product
the filter element alone (5) and, more commonly, using
chamber or test house studies (6-8). Evaluations of room
filters have been completed for many physical parameters
(e.g., dust, spores, environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), and
nicotine) as well as sensory measures (e.g., odor strength,
nasal irritation, and eye irritation (9-14)).
key parameters affecting performance are the particle size
distribution, filtration efficiency, mixing and capture ef-
ficiency, and most importantly, filter air flow. Air flow rates
through room filters must be equivalent to at least several
air exchanges per hour to obtain substantial (>50%) PM
reductions (12, 13, 15). Filter efficiencies above 85% provide
only modest gains in performance (15). While in-duct filters
are generally more effective than stand-alone units (4, 16-
18), such units cannot be used in homes without forced air
systems. Additionally, installation and operating costs and
space issues may prohibit their use. Performance criteria
such as CADR may not reflect in-use performance due to
differences in ventilation, air flow patterns, PM source
and other factors. Typically both modeling and chamber
practice (e.g., some short-circuiting of air will occur due to
the proximity of the filter’s inlet and outlet (6)). PM in the
breathing zone reflects both generation and removal pro-
cesses, and PM reductions in the breathing zone are never
as significant as those achieved at the filter (19).
* Correspondingauthorphone: (734)763-2417;fax: (734)936-7283;
The performance of filters appears to degrade over time,
although most information on this topic is anecdotal. For
example, the CADR for a HEPA unit installed in a residential
bedroom decreased by 25% after intermittent operation for
CADR suffer on electrostatically charged filters; however,
filtration efficiencies may increase for other filter types at
the cost of increased pressure drop and decreased air flow
noted to reduce removal efficiency (11).
of filters in the field is scarce. Several studies, primarily in
houses, have examined the effect of filters on particle mass
and number concentrations, but these studies did not
distinguish between particles from different sources (15).
Most studies have focused on reductions in large particles
associated with animal allergens, pollen, and dust mites (9,
12, 13, 21), but analyses may have been confounded by
and short-duration tests. For these reasons, the literature is
mixed on the effectiveness of air filters. A HEPA room filter
in a 24 h test removed 80-90% of pollen, fungal spores, and
particles in a bedroom, as compared to ∼50% removed due
to sedimentation in a comparable control bedroom without
a filter (12). In contrast, no difference was seen between
baseline (pre-intervention) and monthly post-intervention
24 h PM2.5 levels in nine apartments equipped with three
(22). The continued use of filters in these apartments was
not confirmed, a single pre-intervention measurement was
taken, and the analysis may have been affected by window
and door opening and temporal changes in indoor sources
and outdoor pollutant levels over the 7 month study. In 7 h
tests of nine homes with dogs, HEPA-type room filters
significantly reduced concentrations of an airborne dog
allergen, Can f1, by 75% (dog in room tested) to 90% (dog
in other rooms) when windows and doors were closed (13).
Several types of commercial air filters tested in a 14 ft × 20
ft (4.3 m × 6.1 m) smoking lounge, and two filters, including
a 750 cfm (0.35 m3s-1) HEPA filter, did substantially (>50%)
reduce nicotine and PM10 levels as compared to dilution
ventilation; no ventilation rates were provided in the two 8
h tests completed (23).
Several reports of children with asthma or persistent
and quality of life with air filters installed in bedrooms (10,
24). HEPA and air filtering devices have some documented
benefit in reducing symptoms in allergic asthmatics (25),
although these results are not always reproducible (26, 27).
None of these studies include the simultaneous use of air
conditioners that are needed to limit air exchange in warm
weather or otherwise control for air exchange rates, which
can increase tremendously as when windows are opened.
and field tests designed to be representative of households
in the Detroit, MI area.
Air Filter. The selected stand-alone room air filter
This 61 cm × 52 cm × 25 cm unit has a carbon-impregnated
lights for fan speed and replacement times for filters, and a
clean air delivery rating of 330 cfm (0.156 m3s-1, ref 28). The
(Hobo H08, Onset Computer Corporation, Bourne, MA). To
sensing tube through a small (1.6 mm) hole. These changes
did not affect the unit’s operation.
and electricity consumption were measured at multiple fan
speeds and filter loadings. Filter loadings were simulated by
blocking 0, 25, 50, 75, and 100% of the filter. At each loading,
(Baratron, PDR-C-1B, MKS Instruments, Inc., Burlington,
sensor (Velogrid, Airdata Multimeter ADM-870, Shortridge
when new and after several months in smoking households.
Field Tests. Field tests were carried out in four Detroit-
area houses containing smokers. The participating head of
household provided informed and written consent, in
accordance with Institutional Review Board Procedure
guidelines and approvals from the University of Michigan.
compensated for the electricity consumed. A walkthrough
checklist noted room size, location of vents and windows,
and other factors. Participants completed a survey about
PM-emitting activities in the home, including the frequency
of cigarette smoking, cooking, and cleaning activities. The
adults, two nonsmoking children and a small dog. A total of
20 cigarettes was reported to be smoked in the home on
weekdays, 15 in the room with the air filter, and 40 on
state highway. There was no garage. Heating and cooling
were provided by a gas-fired forced air furnace/central air
conditioner in a service closet on the main floor. Cooking
sampling area was in the 10 ft × 20 ft × 8 ft (45.3 m3) living
and kitchen/dining area of the open floorplan home; this
area contained the front door and one window, which was
not opened during the study. The living room floor was
carpeted, and the kitchen/dining area had sheet flooring.
The home was clean with some clutter (mostly toys and
(ii) Three-floor split-level house, 23 years old with two
neighborhood two blocks from a busy five-lane main
highway. A total of 15 cigarettes was reported to be smoked
20 on weekends. The home had an attached garage where
Heating and cooling were provided by a gas-fired forced air
furnace/central air conditioner fitted with a humidifier.
Cooking used electric appliances with a recirculating stove
hood. The study space was located in the carpeted living
room of the 10 ft × 12 ft × 8 ft (27.2 m3) finished basement,
The home was clean; however, the kitchen floor was being
renovated with tiles. Other floors were wood or carpet.
(iii) Single-floor home, 50 years old with two smoking
reported to be smoked daily in the home by occupants and
visitors during the week, 25 in the room with the filter, and
25 in the home on weekends. The home was in a residential
unattached garage was used for storage, and one car was
parked adjacent to the living room windows. Heating was
provided by a free-standing gas-fired space heater (Boston
stove) in the living room and vented outdoors by a flue pipe
a gas range without a hood, and the occupants reported
was in the carpeted 15 ft × 12 ft × 8 ft (40.7 m3) dining area,
located between the kitchen and the living room. This area
had two windows that were not opened during the study.
had sheet flooring. There was evidence of water damage to
(iv) Single-floor home, 50 years old with two smoking
adult residents, one nonsmoking teenager, and a small dog.
A total of 20 cigarettes was reported to be smoked daily in
in a residential neighborhood 1.5 km from two busy five-
was no garage or storage shed: cars were parked on the
in the unfinished basement that had evidence of recent
malfunction (e.g., soot inside the enclosure and outside of
the burner box). The owner reported having the furnace
recently serviced for this problem. Cooking used a gas range
without a hood. The study space was located in the 21 ft ×
11 ft × 7.5 ft (49 m3) carpeted living/dining area located
between the front door and the kitchen that had three
had sheet flooring. The home was clean and clutter-free.
Laundry facilities were in the basement; a dryer was vented
indoors and may have been the source of the slight water/
condensation damage noted on several windows and the
slight musty odor in the basement. There was no evidence
of an obvious mold infestation.
In each house, the filter unit was placed in the central
continuously at one of the higher speeds, subject to noise
recorded. Air quality monitoring and filter efficiency tests
were made in the week when the purifier was installed and
the week before it was removed. Measurements were taken
in the houses both in parallel and on subsequent weeks. In
both cases, the study design utilized each house as its own
control by taking initial 2 day baseline measurements early
by 2 day measurements as the test case (filter installed). In
this manner, seasonal and spatial changes become less
The field tests included the following continuous mea-
µm diameter size ranges, recorded every 1 min and reduced
dioxide (CO2) concentrations recorded every 5 min (GMW-
21, Vasaila, Helsinki, Finland); carbon monoxide (CO)
Bourne, MA); and temperature and relative humidity re-
Bourne, MA). The optical instruments were new and had
been recently calibrated by the manufacturer. The optical
measurements include only the larger, secondary combus-
tion-related particles (primary combustion particles in
tobacco smoke have a <0.3 µm diameter), but they should
closely track total particle generation and removal by the
PM open-face filter samples, weighed using a microbalance
(Model 29, Cahn Instruments, Inc., Cerritos, CA) after
temperature and humidity conditioning of the filter. These
time-integrated samples represent total suspended particu-
late (TSP) samples as they capture essentially the full size
range of airborne particles. Additionally, volatile organic
were determined by active sampling onto adsorbent tubes
containing Tenax-GR and Carbosieve SIII, followed by
thermal desorption, cryofocusing, and GC-MS analysis for
95 compounds (30).
Homes were selected specifically due to the presence of
ETS; thus, it was necessary to determine whether ETS levels
changed over the monitoring period. ETS levels have been
estimated using ultraviolet absorbance and fluorescence of
the methanol extract of PM, solanesol, scopoletin, vapor-
phase nicotine (VPN), and other tracers (31). While VPN has
been the most widely used tracer for ETS (32), its suitability
has been questioned because it exhibits sink/source, decay,
and UV radiation effects that differ from other ETS con-
stituents (e.g., much of the VPN is deposited to surfaces,
while most ETS is removed by ventilation); thus, ratios of
ETS (measured as RSP or PM2.5) to nicotine can vary
2,5-dimethyl furan has been identified as a unique vapor-
phase tracer of ETS (35). Our measurements in smokers’
homes have shown 2,5-dimethyl furan concentrations present
at low (0.6-1 µg m-3) levels but easily quantifiable given
detection limits of ∼0.01 µg m-3. We do not detect this VOC
in nonsmoking environments. Hence, this VOC was used as
a sensitive and selective tracer for ETS.
Data Analyses and Modeling. Analyses included t-test
comparisons of pollutant concentrations over the periods
with and without the filter installed. Changes in CO2helped
to show whether the occupancy changed, and changes in
2,5-dimethyl furan showed whether the ETS levels changed.
of the air filter.
To determine the particle removal achieved by the filter,
(e.g., smoking) were fit to a first-order model
where Ct) particle number concentrations (#/L); t ) time
) background or minimum concentration. Parameters C0,
Ke, and Cminwere estimated by maximum likelihood using
(e.g., the last smoking event of the day or night, allowing a
1-5 µm diameter, respectively) with the filter operating,
giving the experimental decay rate Ke, and without the filter,
giving a natural decay rate Kn attributable to particle
deposition on surfaces in the house and removal via air
exchange. We also estimated decay curves using CO2
concentrations following a change in occupancy, giving an
air exchange rate Ka (h-1). (CO2 deposition and removal
we could estimate Ka, no difference was seen in Kabetween
periods with and without the filter in place, as expected. Ka
was not estimated if well-defined CO2peaks or decay curves
were not seen (e.g., a result of occupancy being more or less
PM0.3-1and CO2were very high (e.g., typically r >0.97). Ke,
Kn, and Kawere estimated for several well-defined events in
each house at the beginning and end of the study. The
pollutant half-life t1/2was computed as t1/2) ln(2)/K.
In chamber tests where the chamber’s volume V (m3) is
known and constant, the clean air delivery rate, CADR (m3
s-1), is computed as (11)
volume may be uncertain since mixing/exchange occurs
Ct) C0exp(-Ket) + Cmin
CADR ) V(Ke -Kn) (2)
velocity Vd(cm s-1) is estimated as
occurring without the filter that accounts for air exchange;
thus Kp) Kn- Ka, and S/V is the surface-to-volume ratio of
homes and offices (4, 6, 15).
Indoor PM concentrations are usually predicted using
fully mixed models that account for infiltration, makeup air,
particle deposition, indoor and outdoor sources, and recir-
that resuspension, coagulation, and reaction are negligible
Riley et al. (36), the steady-state indoor concentration is
where C and Co are indoor and outdoor concentrations,
respectively (µg m-3); p is the particle penetration factor; Qi,
Qn, Qm, and Qr are infiltration, natural, makeup, and
(recirculating) air filter air flow rates, respectively (m3s-1);
V is the room or house volume (m3); S is emission rate of
indoor sources (µg s-1); ηm and ηr are filter efficiency for
is the deposition loss rate coefficient (s-1). Because we are
rate ) (Qi+ Qm+ Qn)/V (s-1). Conveniently, this leaves only
five terms: Qr, V, AER, ηr, and Kp. The latter two depend on
the relative reductions in PM concentrations achieved by a
room air filter do not depend on the strength or level of
indoor or outdoor sources and the efficiency of makeup
filtration, if any (rare in U.S. houses), and that Qrηr/V must
be large relative to Kp + AER to provide substantially
had very similar performances when new. Air flow rates
ranged from 235 to 439 cfm (0.111-0.207 m3s-1), pressure
drops across the filter were from 0.37 to 0.82 mmHg, and
current draw was 0.54-1.0 A, all depending on fan speed
little as a function of loading (Figure 1). The fan speed (and
device. Flow rates and pressure drops changed moderately
as the filter was obstructed (e.g., 50% blocking decreased
flows by 15-21% and increased pressure drop by 26-55%),
depending on fan speed.
After 2 months of continuous operation in the smokers’
homes, the prefilter had collected a heavy coating of fibrous
slightly. The downstream side remained white. Both filters
smelled of cigarette smoke. Air flows dropped by 7-14%,
and pressure drops across the filters had increased by an
average of 7-16%, depending on fan speed and unit (Table
2). (The unexpected pressure decrease at the low speed is
due to the limited precision of the instrumentation.) On the
filters versus our simulated loading of new filters, 2 months
of the additional pressure drop was attributable to the filter
the primary filter restored flows to within 5% of new
conditions (Table 2). It should be noted that the filter unit
has lights indicating the need for filter replacement, and the
prefilter light had been activated. Despite the increased
pressure drop across the prefilter, the HEPA filter caused
most (81-89%, increasing with fan speed) of the pressure
drop in the system.
Field Tests. Initial tests at the four houses showed some
house-to-house and month-to-month variation in the PM
concentrations, particle counts, 2,5-dimethyl furan concen-
trations (the ETS tracer), and CO2concentrations (Table 3).
However, 2 day average levels of cigarette smoke generated
within each house did not change significantly during the
weeks monitored or depend on whether the HEPA filter was
Vd) Kp/(S/V) (3)
C ) -CopQi+ CoQn+ CoQm(1 - ηm) + S
Qrηr+ KpV + Qm+ Qi+ Qn
R ) 1 -
) 1 -
Qrηr/V + Kp+ AER
TABLE 1. Tests of New Units Showing Filter Air Flow, Current,
and Filter Pressure Drop at Four Fan Speeds and Five Loading
aAverage of two units, three replicates each.
FIGURE 1. Fan curves for room air cleaner at four speeds and
loadings from 0 to 100% of filter area. Average of two units, three
replicates at each loading.
installed, based on the PM number concentration plots,
smoking events daily), and by the 2,5-dimethyl furan
on a 2 day basis, as indicated by CO2 concentrations and
occupant surveys. Concentrations of toluene (Table 3) and
other VOCs (e.g., benzene, styrene, R-pinene, and D-li-
the week. All evidence indicates that pollutant generation,
occupant activity, and ventilation changed little within the
initial and final weeks of study.
The effect of operating filters was dramatic. PM mass
concentrations dropped from 86 ( 43 µg m-3without the
filter to 53 ( 24 µg m-3with the HEPA filter, a 38% reduction
(Table 3). Monitoring at three houses during periods when
windows were closed showed a 65% decrease in the median
number concentrations of PM0.3-1and PM1-5(Table 4). For
PM1-5, the relative reduction due to the filters (65%) applied
to both the median and the 90th percentile concentration.
For PM0.3-1, peak and 90th percentile levels did not change,
a result of instrument limitations. Although measured peak
PM0.3-1concentrations changed little with the filter in place,
the duration of peaks was considerably shorter (Figure 2).
No evidence of VOC removal by the filter was seen. The
prefilter weighed 48 g, and the amount of activated carbon
impregnated was apparently too small to cause measurable
differences in VOC concentrations. (Table 3 shows toluene
and 2,5-dimethylfuran; other VOCs also did not change
Smoking events saturated the particle counter at its
maximum response (7 × 105#/L), noted by a plateau or
rounded peak in the PM0.3-1 measurements that lasted
typically 5-20 min (Figure 2). In other studies using particle
mobility analyzers, smoking has produced PM0.02-1concen-
trations of ∼5 × 107#/L, with roughly 30% of the particles
(∼1.5 × 107#/L) in the optical PM0.3-1range measured here
(37, 38). In comparison, PM0.3-1 number concentrations
measured during smoking events in the houses were ∼20
throughout the room and the house, especially given the
mixing facilitated by the velocity of the air filter’s discharge
and by the movement and other activities of smokers in the
houses. Additionally, we took 5 min averages that may have
missed peak levels. However, saturation of the optical
low PM0.3-1concentrations. This biased the 90th percentile
TABLE 2. Tests of Filter Air Flow and Filter Pressure Drop at Four Fan Speeds When New, After 2 Months of Use, and After 2
Months of Use with HEPA Filter Onlya
new unit used unitused -HEPA only
used - cleaned prefilter
fan speedmean SDmean SD SDSD
Air flow rate (cfm)
Pressure drop (mmHg)
aBased on two units, three replicates each.
TABLE 3. Summary of Monitoring Results at Four Sites with and without Filters and with Used Filtersa
PM0. 3 - 1
PM1 - 5
PM-g ravim etric
aBased on 2 day samples for each condition. 2-5 DMF is 2,5-dimethyl furan.
TABLE 4. Percentiles (50th, 75th, 90th) of Particle Number Concentrations Measured at Three Houses with and without Filter
during Periods When Windows Were Closeda
90th 50th 90th50th90th 50th 90th
no filter (1000 #/L)
filter (1000 #/L)
no filter (1000 #/L)
filter (1000 #/L)
7977 83 80 735050 6670 66
aUpper percentiles of PM0.3-1are biased due to instrument limitations (see text).
PM0.3-1levels and the corresponding percentage changes in
were unaffected since peak levels were short-lived. PM1-5
measurements were unaffected.
After 2 months of use, the weather had warmed consid-
erably, and the final week of tests was unseasonably hot and
humid. Several participants had opened windows, greatly
increasing ventilation and air exchange rates (39). PM levels
were generally lower. At site 4, occupants smoked and
occasionally slept on the porch, and we did not detect 2,5-
dimethylfuran, the ETS tracer, in this home. As before, all
PM indicators (filter concentrations, PM0.3-1, PM1-5) de-
creased with operating filters, although less dramatically as
compared to the earlier trial conducted in cold weather.
h without the filter to 0.30 ( 0.15 h with the filter. The CO2
half-life air averaged 1.8 ( 0.9 h. While concentrations of
from which the half-life could be estimated, and PM1-5and
PM0.3-1peaks were not coincident, indicating that the two
size fractions had different sources. The strongest PM0.3-1
sources were primarily indoors and occurred as distinct
events (e.g., smoking and cooking). In contrast, PM1-5may
have originated from resuspension of indoor and outdoor
dust in different events that were dispersed in space and
Estimates of AER and Vdvaried from house-to-house. As
mentioned, well-defined decay trends for CO2were needed
to provide consistent estimates of the AER, and variability
resulted when measured CO2 levels did not show strong
peaks. This problem would be avoided and uncertainties
reduced with the use of SF6tracer gas decay rate measure-
ments. Other parameters (Ka, Kn) affecting Vdshowed still
and to a lesser extent due to variability in the repeated
measurements collected at each house. This variability is
expected given differences in house and emission source
standard deviations) across the four homes for PM0.3-1(Ka
) 0.45 ( 0.20 h-1; Kn) 1.7 ( 1.1 h-1; and Ke) 2.6 ( 1.1 h-1)
and assuming S/V ) 2 m-1, Vd) 0.018 ( 0.015 cm s-1. While
uncertainties are large, mainly because the particle decay
rates varied substantially between homes, the estimated Vd
value is reasonable. Vdis a strong function of particle size,
and there is considerable uncertainty regarding its value in
values range up to 0.1 cm s-1, while theoretical and some
experimental values are as low as 0.001 cm s-1(15).
calculated for house and room scenarios, AERs from 0.1 to
at a moderate speed, and air is assumed to be fully mixed
Results strongly depend on AER, Kp, and house or room
volume V. The line Kp) 0.0005 s-1corresponds to (average)
are obtained for AERs >1 h-1. In general, the filter is
unit is rated for a 510 ft2(47 m2) area. Also, the importance
of deposition processes alone should be noted (e.g., indoor
concentrations are only 27 and 23% of outdoor concentra-
tions for Kp) 0.0005 s-1, AER ) 0.5, and 1 h-1, respectively,
assuming no indoor sources and a penetration factor of 1).
Large values of Kpquickly remove PM relative to the filter’s
removal rate. In Figure 3B, the filter is placed in a room
largely sealed from the rest of the house (e.g., a bedroom
for AER <1 h-1and most values of Kp. Again, high AERs tend
to defeat the filter’s performance.
Predictions of filter performance are not very sensitive to
(Kp) 0.0005 s-1, AER ) 0.5 h-1), increasing filter efficiency
6 or 5% for the whole house or single room, respectively.
Increasing fan speed to a maximum (429 cfm ) 0.2 m3s-1)
increases removal by an additional 7 and 6% for the house
the highest fan speed increases removal by an additional 14
and 9% for the house and room, respectively.
As shown elsewhere (12, 13, 15), filter performance
strongly depends on the AER and the volume cleaned. The
AER may need to be limited when using room filters; thus,
comfort criteria in summer, an air conditioner that recir-
culates indoor air or that is equipped with a suitable filter
may be required.
In-use estimates of the clean air delivery rate (CADR)
depend on the volume represented by the concentration
cfm), about 30% lower than the filter’s rated capacity and
the measured air flow of the unit, although few participants
kept the unit on the highest speed. Still, this value indicates
little short-circuiting and good mixing. This CADR estimate
assumes that the houses were well-mixed, which should be
confirmed by additional information (e.g., concentration
FIGURE 2. Typical traces of PM0.3-1in late evening and early night
at house four measured without filter (top, 3/22/04) and with filter
(bottom, 3/25/04); 1 min observations.
TABLE 5. Estimated Half-Lives (h) of Particle Number
aBased on three to six decay curves for each condition.
the spatial variation of PM within homes, although PM2.5
measurements in rooms in 10 homes in the UK showed a
high degree of spatial uniformity (40). Also, point measure-
ments using sampling periods exceeding ∼30 min appear
sufficiently long to represent concentrations within a room
(41). However, air flows may be complex (e.g., mixing may
be rapid within a room (especially when augmented by the
filter’s fan) but slower and variable between rooms).
Use, Operating, and Total Costs. Participants kept the
filter fans on continuously, as instructed, although they
site 1 kept speeds on high to turbo, site 2 was always on low,
and occasionally turned the unit off for periods of up to
time, presumably as they became used to the units.
Electricity consumption is estimated to cost $52 to $95
annually, depending on the fan speed and assuming con-
tinuous use and the prevailing electricity price in Detroit
annual replacement is advisable. Prefilters cost ∼$20 each,
annual replacement of both filters. A central or room air
conditioner (AC) may be needed in summer to limit the air
window AC would be roughly $100. The initial costs of the
filter and air conditioner are $208 and $200, respectively.
Annualized costs, using an interest rate of 8% and assuming
$236 for the filter and $151 for the air conditioner, or $386
for both. Operating costs represent the 74% of costs. Costs
to install the AC. (The filter does not require installation
beyond plugging it in.) These costs apply for PM control in
a single room or section of a house (e.g., bedroom). Costs
would be higher to filter and cool a whole house.
(18, 42-45). Increases in coarse fraction PM concentrations
typically result from activities that generate and/or entrain
PM (e.g., movement of people, vacuuming, dusting, and
sweeping (44, 46-48)). Such activities, along with cooking,
increase PM2.5levels by roughly 3-6 µg m-3(45). Smoking
is the dominant contributor to indoor PM levels, increasing
in Detroit homes have shown comparable impacts (52, 53).
Most tobacco smoke particles are between 0.1 and 0.36
µm in diameter (85% by mass), and only 1.5% exceeds 1 µm
(38); thus, tobacco impacts are largely limited to PM1. The
∼15% by mass and ∼30% by number (37), and saturation of
the counter during smoking events led to significant un-
dercounting of PM number concentrations during these
(at levels within the useful range of the instrumentation)
were used to estimate first-order decay rates in eq 1. The
gravimetric measurements captured particles over a wide
size range and thus provide a more complete assessment of
PM levels; however, these time-integrated concentrations
do not allow identification of individual smoking events or
instrumentation in field studies that could measure the
smaller particles; however, optical and gravimetric measure-
ments were selected because they were field capable (e.g.,
small, quiet, capable of stable long-term unattended opera-
tion, etc.) and relatively modest in price.
In-use tests with and without filters in place effectively
showed the performance of the room air filters in smokers’
homes. The filters significantly diminished the duration of
were consistent in each house. Especially in cold/cool
weather, when AERs were lower as windows were closed,
filters provided significant reductions in gravimetric and
number concentrations of PM. Reductions were smaller in
While only approximate air exchange rates could be esti-
mated, results follow predictions using simple fully mixed
models (15). Preliminary CADR estimates derived from in-
use tests appeared reasonable, although concentration
measurements in other rooms are necessary to confirm
results. The filters were installed in the room with the most
important PM source, namely, smokers, and it is likely that
decreased only slightly after 2-3 months of use, largely due
to loading on the prefilter, which could be easily cleaned
(washing or vacuuming) or replaced. To limit the number of
air filters units using similar filter types (coarse prefilter
followed by pleated paper HEPA filter).
Tracers for occupancy and ETS confirmed that smoking
frequency and ventilation did not change in the first trial
during cold weather, although smoking frequency indoors
and ventilation did change during warm weather. Measure-
FIGURE 3. Predicted relative reductions in PM levels achieved by room air filter as a function of air exchange rate and Kp, the deposition
loss rate. Top line (Kp) 0) assumes no PM deposition. (A) Assumes 300 cfm (0.142 m3s-1) 75% efficient room air filter in 2000 SF (453
m3) house. (B) Same as panel A except that only one (224 SF, 51 m3) room is considered.
comparisons, otherwise results may be invalidated by
changes in the number of cigarettes smoked, opening
The percentage reductions achieved by room air filters
factors. At low AERs, indoor concentrations may be limited
by the limited particle penetration to the indoors and
then indoor concentrations may increase at high AERs if
and peak levels can be several times higher. AERs below 1
h-1provide only marginal benefits from the standpoint of
of gases, vapors, and moisture attributable to building
materials and occupant activities, not removed by the filter,
will increase as the AER is lowered. AERs should not be
excessively lowered without recognition of these issues.
The decay analysis for PM1-5was inconsistent because
given that coarse fraction PM is generated by entrainment
and processes associated with human activities. The low
correlation between <1 and >1 µm diameter particles also
shows the role of different sources for these size fractions
(e.g., <1 µm PM trends related to smoking (and in some
the >1 µm particles likely resulted from entrainment and
resuspension from indoor activities).
We did not assess the effect of the filter’s fan speeds.
While participants were instructed to use the higher speeds,
participants used a range of speeds, including the lowest.
Most participants did keep the units on continuously.
Additional instructions, possibly a label placed on the unit,
and additional reinforcement and monitoring may help to
from higher fan speeds is predicted to be modest. Also, user
acceptance of the filters was very high. Several participants
indicated that they “loved” the filters, and several indicated
that they would buy units for themselves after the study
Overall, the tests demonstrated significant reductions in
PM in smoker’s homes, especially when air exchange rates
were limited. Filter performance was maintained over the
testing period, and user acceptance of the filters was high.
Such filters can reduce exposure of PM that has been
associated with the exacerbation of asthma and other
respiratory symptoms. Further research is necessary to
determine whether such filters improve respiratory health.
and Kathy Edgren assisted recruitment and participant
orientation. Barbara Israel provided helpful suggestions.
lab. Gina Hatzivasilis provided editorial assistance. Portions
of the study were financially supported by the Michigan
Education and Research Center (funded by the National
Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, Grant T42
CC5410428), the American Chemistry Council (Grant 2401),
Health (funded by the National Institute of Environmental
Health Sciences and the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency, Grant P01-ES09589).
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Receivedforreview July8,2004. Revisedmanuscriptreceived
February 3, 2005. Accepted June 17, 2005.