Overhead AC powerlines and rain can alter the electric charge distribution on airborne particles: implications for aerosol dispersion and lung deposition

Matthew D Wright*, Alison J Buckley, James C Matthews, Dudley E Shallcross, Denis L Henshaw

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Corona ions from high voltage power lines (HVPL) can increase electrostatic charge on airborne pollutant particulates, possibly increasing received dose upon inhalation. To investigate the potential increased risk of childhood leukemia associated with residence near alternating current (AC) HVPL, we measured the particle charge state and atmospheric electricity parameters upwind, downwind and away from HVPL. Although we observed noticeable charge state alteration from background levels, most HVPL do not significantly increase charge magnitude. Particular HVPL types are shown to have most effect, increasing net charge to 15 times that at background. However, the magnitude of charge alteration during rainfall is comparable with the most extreme HVPL measurement. On current evidence, based on the current adult lung model, we suggest that although charge is sometimes enhanced to levels which may alter atmospheric particle dynamics, increased lung deposition is unlikely.
Original languageEnglish
Article number115834
Number of pages13
JournalEnvironmental Research
Volume228
Early online date8 Apr 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was funded by Children with Cancer UK , Registered Charity (UK) No. 298405 , through Grant No. 09/092 and a Ph.D. studentship held by A.J.B. M.D.W. and D.E.S. acknowledge funding from the Leverhulme Trust through Research Project Grant RPG-2014-102 . Data reported in this paper are available in the Supplementary Materials.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023

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