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December 1989

Infectious Potential of Aerosolized Particles

Author Affiliations

6319 Castle Pl, 3D Falls Church, VA 22044; Food and Drug Administration Center for Devices and Radiological Health Rockville, MD 20857

Arch Dermatol. 1989;125(12):1689-1692. doi:10.1001/archderm.1989.01670240089021

With increasing numbers of people showing human immunodeficiency virus-positive serologic findings, and with the continued inability to find a cure for this disease, has come a renewed awareness and concern among health care professionals for the transmission of infection from patient to health care provider. This renewed concern for potential infection of health care providers was heightened by the report from Garden et al1 demonstrating the presence of intact papillomavirus DNA in the smoke plume generated during laser surgery. As reported in this issue of the Archives, Wentzell et al2 elaborate on the physical properties of aerosols generated during dermabrasion and emphasize that particles are generated of a size that can access the pulmonary and mucosal surfaces. They also show that mathematical modeling is helpful in predicting particle size generated in the aerosols produced by these procedures. However, without knowledge of the infectivity of a given virus and