The human oxidation field

Science. 2022 Sep 2;377(6610):1071-1077. doi: 10.1126/science.abn0340. Epub 2022 Sep 1.


Hydroxyl (OH) radicals are highly reactive species that can oxidize most pollutant gases. In this study, high concentrations of OH radicals were found when people were exposed to ozone in a climate-controlled chamber. OH concentrations calculated by two methods using measurements of total OH reactivity, speciated alkenes, and oxidation products were consistent with those obtained from a chemically explicit model. Key to establishing this human-induced oxidation field is 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one (6-MHO), which forms when ozone reacts with the skin-oil squalene and subsequently generates OH efficiently through gas-phase reaction with ozone. A dynamic model was used to show the spatial extent of the human-generated OH oxidation field and its dependency on ozone influx through ventilation. This finding has implications for the oxidation, lifetime, and perception of chemicals indoors and, ultimately, human health.

PMID:36048928 | DOI:10.1126/science.abn0340

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