Describing fluctuating indoor aerosol dust measurements with application to house dust mite allergens

F.E. van Boven (Corresponding author), N.W. de Jong, Marcel G.L.C. Loomans, G.J. Braunstahl, R.G. van Wijk, L.R. Arends

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Measuring house dust mite aeroallergen concentrations is essential in understanding mite allergen exposure. Physically, the aerolized house dust mite faeces are part of indoor particulate matter. We studied the statistical ways of summarizing measurements of fluctuating mite aeroallergen exposure inside homes through indoor particulate matter. To study emissions from beddings, we measured the time-related airborne dust concentration after shaking a duvet. Analysis was performed both by a method based on the estimated mean and by a non-linear model. Twenty-eight studies reported a sum of concentrations; only one also reported the peak. In our four experiments on shaking a duvet (245 to 275 measurements each), the peak value was two to four times higher than the mean. The mean-based and non-linear models both predicted the sum of concentrations exactly. A 1% upper prediction bound and the non-linear model predicted the peak emission rate moderately well (64 to 92%, and 63 to 93%, respectively). Mean levels of indoor particulate matter measurements differ substantially from peak concentrations. The use of the mean is only sufficient to predict the sum of concentrations. We suggest that, mite aeroallergen measurements should include information on the peak as well as the mean.
Original languageEnglish
Article number16897
Number of pages8
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 9 Oct 2020


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