A survey of wind speeds in indoor workplaces

Peter E.J. Baldwin, Andrew D. Maynard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

217 Scopus citations


The applicability of the inhalable convention for sampling aerosols relies on its being a valid model for typical sampling environments. The current convention is based on measurements carried out in external wind speeds between 1 and 4 m·s-1. However these measurements show a degree of wind speed dependence, and it is uncertain at present how valid the convention is for describing human aspiration efficiency outside these wind speed limits. Following concerns that wind speeds in many indoor workplaces may be significantly below this range, measurements have been made in 55 work areas covering a wide range of workplaces. Measurements have concentrated on 'background' wind speeds where the influence of specific air movement sources is minimised. The pooled wind speed measurements show a highly skewed distribution with an arithmetic mean of approximately 0.3 m·s-1. Approximately 85% of all individual measurements were below this mean value. No obvious correlation was found between wind speed distribution parameters and industry type, room size or ventilation type. A limited number of comparisons were made between static anemometers and devices mounted on workers. It was found that modal wind speeds experience by workers were typically 0.05 m·s-1 higher than those measured using a static anemometer. These measurements agreed well with previously published data for similar workplaces as well as houses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)303-313
Number of pages11
JournalAnnals of Occupational Hygiene
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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