Aerosolized Liquids

Posted by ollie4 @ollie4, May 18 12:44pm

We know that aerosolized liquids such as outdoor misters, grocery store produce department misters, etc. can harbor and transmit MAC. Today, many churches are using hazers during their worship services. Should those be avoided as well? Would sitting more towards the back of the church minimize the potential exposure?

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Hi Ollie - I see that you must have been reading about MAC for quite a while to have studied this matter. Welcome to Mayo Connect, let's try to gather some information for you.

First I had to learn about "hazers" - these are the next generation of the old theatrical fog machines, producing smaller particles that disperse more and hang in the air longer. Hazers may use ethylene glycol or mineral oil as well as water to generate even more persistence.

Let me say first that I am not as much worried about MAC transmission if the machines are used according to directions with distilled water plus additives and thorough cleaning between uses. I am more concerned about particulate inhalation (I suppose some few particles could pick up MAC and other germs from the air, but...)

So I Googled - "theatrical hazer effects on lungs" - uh-oh - as far back as 2000 there were known risks

And Google Scholar says this

Finally, even Wikipedia acknowledges the risks -

Here is what we know -
- The smaller particles of haze are more persistent, and can travel more deeply into the lungs.
- Haze can irritate eyes and may cause asthma attacks in sensitive individuals.
- The theatrical unions have gotten involved and are working to minimize their workers' exposure.
- Some states now require a posting at the venue and on promotional material when these effects will be used.

What would I do?
- Wear my N95 mask and sit as far from the source as possible - just like I do on certain days when incense is used in my church. (Churches are becoming more aware of sensitive individuals and limiting/eliminating use.)
- Lobby for more worship and less "theater" citing lung health concerns - and remember if children are present, their risk is even greater.

Is this a usual use in your church or would you just be an occasional visitor?


Sue, Thanks so much for your comprehensive answer. Unfortunately, in the church we attend every Sunday, the use of hazers has become an regular part of each worship service. I think we will need to follow your suggestions. Thanks again.

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