Online educational resource on achieving indoor environmental quality with radiant based HVAC systems
Not for profit educational resource on indoor environmental quality.
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ndoor Environmental Quality: particulate matter

Online since 2004


Man sneezing (high res image allow 60 seconds to load), Photo credit: CDC/Science Photo Library

This image is part of our educational program on indoor environmental quality. If you are building or renovating and need additional support on the relationships between the building and health sciences, architecture, and sustainability visit our home page or use one of our support services. If you are building or renovating please feel free to browse our examples of commercial and residential engineering projects.

High speed photograph of a man sneezing, showing a plume of salivary droplets ejected from his mouth.

Although we all know that sneezes and coughs transmit infections, little research had been done to model how they work. To address this knowledge gap, Dr. Lydia Bourouiba and Dr. John Bush of MIT's Applied Mathematics Lab used high speed cameras and fluid mechanics to reveal why we've grossly underestimated the role of gas clouds in these violent expirations. Courtesy of

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, a sneeze is a sudden, forceful, involuntary burst of air through the nose and mouth caused by irritation to the mucous membranes of the nose or throat. Several indoor environmental triggers can cause one to sneeze, they include: allergy to pollen, mold, dander, dust (hay fever), nasal irritants such as dust and powders or virus infections which includes; common cold, upper respiratory tract infections or the flu. Learn more about indoor air quality.

See also:

  1. Tang JW, Nicolle AD, Klettner CA, Pantelic J, Wang L, et al. (2013) Airflow Dynamics of Human Jets: Sneezing and Breathing - Potential Sources of Infectious Aerosols. PLoS ONE 8(4): e59970. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0059970

  2. Pathophysiology of itching and sneezing in allergic rhinitis, Pfaara, O., et al, SwissMed Wkly 2009; 139(3–4):35–40, pg.35

  3. Allergies: The Radical Theory of Sneezing, Tina Adler, Environmental Health Perspectives, Volume 113, Number 11, November 2005

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