Public Release: 

Up to 90 percent of drinking water contaminants in ultrasonic humidifier aerosols are inhalable

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News


IMAGE: Environmental Engineering Science, the official journal of The Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors, is an authoritative peer-reviewed journal published monthly online with Open Access options. Publishing state-of-the-art... view more

Credit: ©Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers

New Rochelle, NY, November 24, 2015--A new study of five drinking water samples of different quality shows that ultrasonic humidifiers aerosolize and emit dissolved contaminants that can be inhaled, including minerals and metals. For an ultrasonic humidifier, 90% of the aerosols formed are in the respirable range, which may have negative effects on human health depending on the quality of the water source, as reported in the study published in Environmental Engineering Science, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available to download for free on the Environmental Engineering Science website until December 24, 2015.

In "Emission of Inhalable Dissolved Drinking Water Constituents by Ultrasonic Humidifiers", Amanda Sain and Andrea Dietrich, Virginia Polytechnic and State University (Blacksburg), describe the results of testing five different water quality types in ultrasonic humidifiers. The drinking water samples used to fill the humidifiers ranged from low to high levels of total dissolved solids (a common measure of mineral content), hardness, and iron content. The researchers evaluated the aerosols emitted for the range of particle sizes and for evidence of dissolved metal and nonmetal constituents.

"This is a very interesting study that identifies another path of human uptake of constituents in drinking water--that of inhalation," says Domenico Grasso, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of Environmental Engineering Science and Provost, University of Delaware. "Health consequences appear to be dependent on the nature of the water quality used in the humidifiers."


About the Journal

Environmental Engineering Science, the official journal of The Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors, is an authoritative peer-reviewed journal published monthly online with Open Access options. Publishing state-of-the-art studies of innovative solutions to problems in air, water, and land contamination and waste disposal, the Journal features applications of environmental engineering and scientific discoveries, policy issues, environmental economics, and sustainable development including climate change, complex and adaptive systems, contaminant fate and transport, environmental risk assessment and management, green technologies, industrial ecology, environmental policy, and energy and the environment. Tables of content and a sample issue may be viewed on the Environmental Engineering Science website.

About the Publisher

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science and biomedical research, including Industrial Biotechnology, Sustainability: The Journal of Record, and Environmental Justice. Its biotechnology trade magazine, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN), was the first in its field and is today the industry's most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm's 80 journals, newsmagazines, and books is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.

About the Association

The Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (AEESP) is made up of professors in academic programs throughout the world who provide education in the sciences and technologies of environmental protection. The mission of AEESP is to assist its members in the development and dissemination of knowledge in environmental engineering and science. AEESP seeks to strengthen and advance the discipline of environmental science and engineering by providing leadership, promoting cooperation amongst academics and others within and outside the discipline, and serving as a liaison between its membership and other professional societies, governmental agencies, industry and nonprofit organizations.

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