Aerosolization is the process (example: inhalers) or act (example: coughing, sneezing, exhalation, vomiting, or flushing a toilet) that enables tiny particles (chemicals, bacteria, viruses) to be contained within an aerosol liquid. The infectious organism trapped within an aerosol droplet is said to be aerosolized. This aerosol droplet can be airborne from minutes to hours depending upon the size, lightness (mass), and/or magnetic charge.
The sad reality is that aerosolized droplets, if light enough, can stay airborne for up to 4 hours. This is why public restrooms, elevators, and public hallways/corridors need powerful exhaust fans to remove possible contaminated air before we, the public, inhale aerosolized pathogens.
An example of this theory put to practical use is that hospitals have negative pressure rooms for very sick people. Air moves from high to low-pressure areas, thus negative pressure is maintained within the patient’s room by the Negative Pressure Isolation Room ventilation system, which monitors the outside corridor pressure and is able to adjust the negative pressure airflow accordingly by exhausting the patient’s room air outside the building.
This negative airflow creates and causes a continuous airflow entering the patient’s room from the outside corridor. This prevents possible infectious aerosolized droplets, exhaled from the patient while coughing or sneezing, from escaping under the closed or open door into the hospital’s public corridor, hospital ward, or the main ventilation system. This helps prevent aerosolization of pathogens, one of the 4 methods of how pathogens enter the body.
Can you, dear reader, think of other possibilities of how aerosolization affects us in public places?
Here is one example. This article mentions elevators, and what most people are not aware of is that these confined spaces do not have exhaust ventilation fans to expunge the air rapidly. In other words, when a sick person enters a public elevator (office building, hospital, university, etc.) and coughs and/or sneezes, then airborne bacteria/viruses trapped inside a minuscule droplet could stay airborne for hours, or at least until you/me step into this contaminated space after they existed 15 minutes ago.
What do you think?
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