Comparison of cough particle exposure for indoor commercial and aircraft cabin spaces

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Supplementary document

To compare the transport of respiratory pathogens, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations were performed to track particles released by coughing from a passenger on a Boeing 737 aircraft, and by a person in a comparable indoor commercial space. Simulation data were post-processed to calculate the amounts of particles inhaled by nearby persons in both environments. The effects of different airflow rates, placement of air inlets, positioning and distances between index (coughing) and susceptible (inhaling) persons were also analyzed. The removal of airborne particles from the indoor environment, due ventilation and deposition onto surfaces, was compared to that of an aircraft cabin. In an aircraft cabin 80% of the particles were removed 5 to 12 times faster than in the indoor commercial space; ultimately resulting in 7 times less particulate mass inhaled in the aircraft cabin.