Computational fluid dynamics modeling of transport and deposition of pesticides in an aircraft cabin

Sastry S. Isukapalli, Sagnik Mazumdar, Pradeep George, Binnian Wei, Byron Jones, Clifford P. Weisel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Spraying of pesticides in aircraft cabins is required by some countries as part of a disinsection process to kill insects that pose a public health threat. However, public health concerns remain regarding exposures of cabin crew and passengers to pesticides in aircraft cabins. While large scale field measurements of pesticide residues and air concentrations in aircraft cabins scenarios are expensive and time consuming, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) models provide an effective alternative for characterizing concentration distributions and exposures. This study involved CFD modeling of a twin-aisle 11 row cabin mockup with heated manikins, mimicking a part of a fully occupied Boeing 767 cabin. The model was applied to study the flow and deposition of pesticides under representative scenarios with different spraying patterns (sideways and overhead) and cabin air exchange rates (low and high). Corresponding spraying experiments were conducted in the cabin mockup, and pesticide deposition samples were collected at the manikin's lap and seat top for a limited set of five seats. The CFD model performed well for scenarios corresponding to high air exchange rates, captured the concentration profiles for middle seats under low air exchange rates, and underestimated the concentrations at window seats under low air exchange rates. Additionally, both the CFD and experimental measurements showed no major variation in deposition characteristics between sideways and overhead spraying. The CFD model can estimate concentration fields and deposition profiles at very high resolutions, which can be used for characterizing the overall variability in air concentrations and surface loadings. Additionally, these model results can also provide a realistic range of surface and air concentrations of pesticides in the cabin that can be used to estimate potential exposures of cabin crew and passengers to these pesticides.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)198-207
Number of pages10
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Volume68
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2013

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Keywords

  • Airliner cabin
  • CFD
  • Disinsection
  • Permethrin
  • Pesticide
  • Pyrethroid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Atmospheric Science

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