Partitioning of reactive oxygen species from indoor surfaces to indoor aerosols

Glenn C. Morrison, Azin Eftekhari, Pascale S.J. Lakey, Manabu Shiraiwa, Bryan E. Cummings, Michael S. Waring, Brent Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are among the species thought to be responsible for the adverse health effects of particulate matter (PM) inhalation. Field studies suggest that indoor sources of ROS contribute to measured ROS on PM in indoor air. We hypothesize that ozone reacts on indoor surfaces to form semi-volatile ROS, in particular organic peroxides (OPX), which partition to airborne particles. To test this hypothesis, we modeled ozone-induced formation of OPX, its decay and its partitioning to PM in a residential building and compared the results to field measurements. Simulations indicate that, while ROS of outdoor origin is the primary contributor to indoor ROS (in PM), a substantial fraction of ROS present in indoor PM is from ozone-surface chemistry. At an air change rate equal to 1/h, and an outdoor ozone mixing ratio of 35 ppb, 25% of the ROS concentration in air is due to indoor formation and partitioning of OPX to PM. For the same conditions, but with a modest indoor source of PM (1.5 mg h−1), 44% of indoor ROS on PM is of indoor origin. An indoor source of ozone, such as an electrostatic air cleaner, also increases OPX present in indoor PM. The results of the simulations support the hypothesis that ozone-induced formation of OPX on indoor surfaces, and subsequent partitioning to aerosols, is sufficient to explain field observations. Therefore, indoor sourced ROS could contribute meaningfully to total inhaled PM-ROS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2310-2323
Number of pages14
JournalEnvironmental Science: Processes and Impacts
Issue number12
StatePublished - Oct 19 2022
Externally publishedYes

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© 2022 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


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