Ozone Initiates Human-Derived Emission of Nanocluster Aerosols
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2021

Nanocluster aerosols (NCAs, particles <3 nm) are important players in driving climate feedbacks and processes that impact human health. This study reports, for the first time, NCA formation when gas-phase ozone reacts with human surfaces. In an occupied climate-controlled chamber, we detected NCA only when ozone was present. NCA emissions were dependent on clothing coverage, occupant age, air temperature, and humidity. Ozone-initiated chemistry with human skin lipids (particularly their primary surface reaction products) is the key mechanism driving NCA emissions, as evidenced by positive correlations with squalene in human skin wipe samples and known gaseous products from ozonolysis of skin lipids. Oxidation by OH radicals, autoxidation reactions, and human-emitted NH3 may also play a role in NCA formation. Such chemical processes are anticipated to generate aerosols of the smallest size (1.18-1.55 nm), whereas larger clusters result from subsequent growth of the smaller aerosols. This study shows that whenever we encounter ozone indoors, where we spend most of our lives, NCAs will be produced in the air around us.

ozone chemistry

particle formation

indoor air

human skin lipids

molecular clusters


Shen Yang

Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL)

Dusan Licina

Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL)

Charles J. Weschler

Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DTU)

Rutgers University

Nijing Wang


Nora Zannoni


Mengze Li


Joonas Vanhanen

Airmodus Oy

Sarka Langer

IVL Svenska Miljöinstitutet

Chalmers, Arkitektur och samhällsbyggnadsteknik, Installationsteknik

Pawel Wargocki

Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DTU)

Jonathan Williams


Cyprus Institute

G. Beko

Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DTU)

Environmental Science & Technology

0013-936X (ISSN) 1520-5851 (eISSN)

Vol. 55 21 14536-14545


Meteorologi och atmosfärforskning

Kemiska processer

Annan medicinsk grundvetenskap





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