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Older comments[edit]

We should rewrite this with a general definition first.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:17, 1 November 2002

When people light them to make "flamethrowers", they can explode, correct? I know people who have tried it, no explosion, so they think that the "flame can't go up inside". But now I have heard that this is definitely not true... - Omegatron 01:28, Nov 24, 2004 (UTC)

Aerosol Sprays[edit]

The article mentions that aerosol sprays are liquids held under pressure with a compressed gas. Is there a certain type of gas usually used in these sprays which contributes to climate change?

See Propellant#Aerosol sprays -- Securiger 09:14, 8 May 2005 (UTC)


At the moment, there are two paragraphs of information on aerosol sprays at each of Aerosol#Aerosol spray and at Propellant#Aerosol sprays. I propose to create an article at Aerosol spray (currently a redirect back here, which is mainly about atmospheric particulates) and merge those four paragraphs to it, with appropriate links from Propellant, Aerosol and elsewhere. Any objections? -- Securiger 09:14, 8 May 2005 (UTC)

Also, a chunk of the text under Workplace exposure isn't displaying, I don't know why, but if you go into edit, there's a whole different section (on Global dimming) part of which isn't showing up (likewise the second half of the note on workplace exposure). Anyone with better code-fu than me who can fix it? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Gordsellar (talkcontribs) 11:42, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

Redundant article with particulates[edit]

This article is redundant with the one on particulates ("aerosols" and "particulates" are synonyms). The articles discuss different aspects of particulates, this one focusing on climate change, and the other on sources and health effects. They should be combined with a redirect and appropriate subsections.

"particulates" to me means things-with-particles. Particulates are aerosols; calling sulphate aerosol particulates sounds odd. William M. Connolley 20:18, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC).
Hmm, reading the intro to this article, or indeed the ipcc defn of aerosol [1], my comment above doesn't seem too sensible :-(
It makes sense that the two articles would approach their respective subjects with different terminolgy; "Particulate Matter" is the standard term to environmental engineers and epidemiologists who study the health effects, but "aerosol" is definitely the standard term to geophysisists and climate scientists. They're really talking about the same thing though, and we should make that clear by merging and linking. I'm not so sure what the more standard or more general term is, though. I could argue that climate change has a large general public interest, but the same could be said for PM and its health effects. 7infinity 03:49, 10 August 2005 (UTC)
I am an aerosol/particulate scientist (see my web page at new to Wikipedia so I wanted to check out my favorite topic. Particulates and aerosols are indeed synonymous so the articles are redundant. 7infinity's previous comment is right on the mark: the two communities tend to prefer one word over the other but not in an absolute sense. Everyone on either side (environmental engineers and climate scientists) knows both terms and uses both to some extent. Indeed, many people work on both sides of the issue. Maybe I will try to merge the articles if I learn enough about the Wikipedia system to do this.
I agree that there is a large overlap. I think that Aerosol would be best as a disambiguation page, with the content from this page merged to Particulate. Most people doing a search on aerosol would probably expect to go to spray cans. If people are happy with this I'll what I can do.--NHSavage 21:52, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
If people want to see what I'm planning for the merged page see User:NHSavage/sandbox after the AUT stuff. All I've done so far is copy and paste from the 2 articles, it needs some work.--NHSavage 23:12, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
Rigorously, "particulates" (or "particulate matter") and "aerosol" are not synonyms, although their definitions are becoming increasingly intertwined in recent usage (even by the IPCC). An aerosol is defined in several of my dictionaries as "a colloidal suspension of solid or liquid particles dispersed in a gas." (The "colloidal" part means that the particles are small enough that they don't readily settle out.) Thus, an aerosol includes both the particles and the gas, while "particulates" refers to the particles alone. In my recent edit of the "Aerosol" article I've given an example of "smog" being an aerosol. It would take many more words to describe "smog" if you used the word "particulates" because pollutant gases are a very important component of photochemical smog. I think there is a place for separate articles on both aerosol and particulates, although they should cross-reference each other.ITombach (talk) 05:57, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
A few more thoughts to follow up yesterday's comments (above). An example of particulate that is not an aerosol is the coarse soil dust picked up in a windstorm or resulting from plowing a field. The soil particles qualify as particulates but, because they are relatively large and settle out quickly, they don't qualify as an aerosol. I agree with the comment above that "aerosol spray" should be a separate entry. As one more terminological point, most dictionaries say that "particulate" is an adjective, and the corresponding noun is "particulate matter". In recent years, however, there has been increasing usage of "particulate" as a noun, as in "suspended particulates", especially by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the dictionary on my computer acknowledges its evolving use as a noun. Language is alive and continuously changing, so someone has to decide whether to use a conventional definition or the latest interpretation. (talk) 00:55, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

Confusion with CFC's[edit]

Too many people these days confuse ozone depletion brought on by CFC's from aerosol spray cans with global warming. This article isn't helping.

There really should be a section, or at least a mention, that "aerosol" has nothing to do with CFC's and ozone depletion.

--Dawei20 (talk) 18:16, 12 April 2009 (UTC)

This only applies to the particular case of aerosol sprays, which was split off from this article four years ago. To much detail or emphasis is out of place here. Suggest a rv. See WP:SS. --Old Moonraker (talk) 18:34, 12 April 2009 (UTC)
Done. --Old Moonraker (talk) 08:07, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

Global Warming/Cooling[edit]

Aerosol causing global cooling is inconsistent with the greenhouse gas causing global warming. This led me to believe that aerosols contribute to global warming just like any other green house gas. TeH nOmInAtOr (talk) 23:32, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

Also NASA is going to investigate this issue with their new satellite glory (satellite) in 2010. TeH nOmInAtOr (talk) 23:33, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

The role of aerosols , both heating and cooling, has been investigated extensively. Are you saying that the existing sources are incorrect? What sources support your conclusions?   Will Beback  talk  23:57, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
Following the link you provided, NASA's Glory webpage has links to a number of scholarly papers on the topic of aerosols. [2]. The existing data shows that the net effect of all aerosols is negative, even including the positive contribution of black carbon aerosols. Two negative effects are the reflective aerosols and the contribution of aerosols to cloud formatoin, which is itself reflective. So unless there's some significant study which finds differently I think the {disputed} tag you placed on the article is unwarranted.   Will Beback  talk  00:38, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
(ec)Aerosols aren't gases. What besides your belief leads you to dispute the article content ... let's see the sources. And when Glory gets results we can include them, but cannot now. Vsmith (talk) 00:44, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

Insufficiencies in the Article (NPOV)[edit]

I am considering applying the NPOV tag to this article, because, as it stands now, focuses on only one limited concern with aerosols, that being their effect on climate change And the article seems to be a rebuttal to any such concerns, concluding that their net effect on the environment cancels out, without much substantial argument for an opposing view. Additionally, taking a glance over at the German language version of the article, one can see a much more useful and informative description of what aerosols are, and a much wider palette of phenomena examined, for example their function in cloud formation, and their use in human medicine. When I have time I will translate and integrate some of these contents from the German article, however, not being an expert, I would welcome advice on this process.--Be gottlieb (talk) 13:41, 11 June 2011 (UTC)

I'm surprised that there's absolutely no information in the article on the history of aerosols -- its development, originations, etc. As a historian, I'd find that kind of information useful, and that's why I turned to the article in the first place. Daniel Lewis, Ph.D. 17:19, 5 February 2014 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Hilokid (talkcontribs)


Please see my proposal for rationalising the content of this page and the Particulates page at Talk:Particulates--NHSavage (talk) 15:45, 14 July 2012 (UTC)


Most of the external links were not appropriate so I have removed them per WP:NOTLINK. Some might be useful material as I tidy and improve so I am dumping them here for now.

--NHSavage (talk) 09:52, 21 July 2012 (UTC)

Some ideas for sections in this article[edit]

I'd like to expand this article to be much more of an overview of all aspects of aerosols. These are the suggestions I have for sections to expand this article.

  1. definition of an aerosol and also term like monodisperse, particle size distribution, number density etc
  2. atmospheric aerosols - with a short explanation of the rather subtle (in my opinion) distinction between aerosol and particulate matter and also the difference the usage of different communities - climate scientists almost always use aerosol while epidemiologists use particulate
  3. aerosol generation e.g. spray cans etc
  4. aerosol applications - medical, industrial, consumer (spray cans)

--NHSavage (talk) 11:30, 21 July 2012 (UTC) Also:

  1. Aerosol removal (possibly incorporating material from Deposition (aerosol physics)
  2. Aerosol measurement
  3. Aerosol Physics (merged from Aerosol science

--NHSavage (talk) 18:32, 21 July 2012 (UTC)

Merger proposal - Aerodynamic diameter[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
The result of this discussion was to merge NHSavage (talk) 13:28, 4 August 2012 (UTC)

I propose that Aerodynamic diameter be merged into Aerosol. I think that the content in the Aerodynamic diameter article can easily be explained in the context of Aerosol, and the Aerosol article is of a reasonable size that the merging of Aerodynamic diameter will not cause any problems as far as article size or undue weight is concerned.--NHSavage (talk) 17:19, 26 July 2012 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Merger proposal - Aerosol science[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
The result of this discussion was to merge NHSavage (talk) 13:27, 4 August 2012 (UTC)

I propose that Aerosol science be merged into Aerosol. The topic of aerosol science is not clearly distinguished from aerosol at present and is not much more than a stub.--NHSavage (talk) 17:26, 26 July 2012 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.
merger complete. I will now try and tidy it up.--NHSavage (talk) 20:10, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

Clean up categories[edit]

I have made some proposals to rationalise things over at: Category talk:Aerosols. Please take a look.--NHSavage (talk) 13:14, 28 July 2012 (UTC)

What an aerosol is NOT.[edit]

I don't have any special expertise in this area with which to contribute a positive response to my proposal. I recognize that the term aerosol is often (probably) misused. I hope, though, that someone will offer some clarification as to what sorts of events are NOT aerosols. For instance, if you drop a rock into a body of water or a mound of flour, the resulting "splash" doesn't result in an aerosol. My current interest in in the area of laboratory safety where, IMHO, the term aerosol is improperly used to refer to a splash (or some other term, perhaps.) From my rather practical viewpoint, an aerosol is likely to bypass the nose/mouth/pharynx to gain entrance to the respiratory epithelium while a splash will be trapped in the upper airways and eventually expectorated.

I hope that someone appropriately qualified will address my concern. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:35, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

It sounds to me that you need advice specific to the problem you are dealing with not an encyclopaedia entry. Can I suggest you try asking at the Reference desk for science? --NHSavage (talk) 20:02, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

Merger proposal - Condensation (aerosol dynamics)[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
The result of this discussion was to merge

I propose that Condensation (aerosol dynamics) be merged into Aerosol. The content of the Condensation article would best be covered as a part of an overall treatment of aerosol dynamics in this article.--NHSavage (talk) 16:45, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

I agree, although I think it could do with being retitled. In addition, it should incorporate the nucleation subsection of this article. "Condensation" isn't a good title as it is equally a discussion of evaporation. I suggest a new section titles something like "Aerosol Partitioning" which can incorporate the condensation/evaporation and nucleation section. "Aerosol Partitioning" is widely used in the atmospheric science community to refer to equilibrium between the "condensed" and "vapour" phases (not specifically phases - but also in common usage. Read as liquid/solid phase and gas phase.) Niallrobinson (talk) 17:46, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
I agree that condensation isn't the right title. I was thinking more along the lines of Condensation and evaporation, but your suggestion might work better. --NHSavage (talk) 18:12, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.
I've done the merge now, so feel free to edit as you see fit. Can I also suggest that you add references for things as you go along - even if you know they are right? It seems a bit of a faff at first, but it makes it much easier in the long run, as we don't need to comb the article working out what needs references. I now rarely add something to WP without a reference. If I can't find a suitable reference immediately, I will usually use the {{cn}} to remind me what I need to add references for.--NHSavage (talk) 18:50, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
OK - fairly big edit done to this section, including removing some superfluous stuff. Its still not perfect, some of it could be expanded/rewritten, but its better than it was. Thinking the page is starting to be in better shape now. Niallrobinson (talk) 12:26, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

What's a GDE?[edit]

As in the "Solution to the GDE". I have no idea what a GDE is. I presume its some mathematical equation or something. This needs to be defined and/or linked to in wikipedia I think Niallrobinson (talk) 17:51, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

Good point - it means the general dynamic equation as explained in the text. I'll get on to it.--NHSavage (talk) 18:10, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

Addition of size distribution cartoon figures[edit]

I think that demonstrating the effect of different aerosol processes on the number/size distributions is a useful way to think about stuff. Its mentioned in the text currently but maybe the addition of some cartoons would help clarify e.g. During coagulation there is an increase in mode diameter but no change in number so you have a "before" and "after" mode with an arrow in the middle etc. Similarly for partitioning Niallrobinson (talk) 10:23, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

I agree - there is a real lack of illustrations in this article. Do you have the ability to make these? I could sketch something out but it would need to be cleaned up. There may be people on WP who are willing to help with this sort of thing.--NHSavage (talk) 07:44, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
I could generate some data and plot these. I need to learn IDL anyway, so its a good first project. Niallrobinson (talk) 14:31, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

Log normal distribution[edit]

Isn't the formula given in the article that of the normal distribution instead of log-normal? Garfl (talk) 15:04, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

Over-reliance on Hinds 1999?[edit]

At first glance, the article seems well referenced. However, if one looks at the list of refernces, it turns out that most of the references are one particular book which is cited heavily. Maybe the article should try to have several refs and not just Hinds 1999?

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