An empirical model of human aspiration in low-velocity air using CFD investigations

T. Reneé Anthony, Kimberly R. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling was performed to investigate the aspiration efficiency of the human head in low velocities to examine whether the current inhaled particulate mass (IPM) sampling criterion matches the aspiration efficiency of an inhaling human in airflows common to worker exposures. Data from both mouth and nose inhalation, averaged to assess omnidirectional aspiration efficiencies, were compiled and used to generate a unifying model to relate particle size to aspiration efficiency of the human head. Multiple linear regression was used to generate an empirical model to estimate human aspiration efficiency and included particle size as well as breathing and freestream velocities as dependent variables. A new set of simulated mouth and nose breathing aspiration efficiencies was generated and used to test the fit of empirical models. Further, empirical relationships between test conditions and CFD estimates of aspiration were compared to experimental data from mannequin studies, including both calm-air and ultra-low velocity experiments. While a linear relationship between particle size and aspiration is reported in calm air studies, the CFD simulations identified a more reasonable fit using the square of particle aerodynamic diameter, which better addressed the shape of the efficiency curve's decline toward zero for large particles. The ultimate goal of this work was to develop an empirical model that incorporates real-world variations in critical factors associated with particle aspiration to inform low-velocity modifications to the inhalable particle sampling criterion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-255
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of occupational and environmental hygiene
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 3 2015


  • dust sampling convention
  • human aspiration
  • inhalability
  • inhalable dust
  • low velocity
  • model

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'An empirical model of human aspiration in low-velocity air using CFD investigations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this