The anti-viral drug ribavirin primarily used for the treatment of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection in infants is delivered by continuous nebulization with the Small Particle Aerosol Generator (SPAG). Clinical data suggest that the SPAG is an efficient nebulizer for ribavirin; it is also being used for the delivery of other pulmonary agents. The efficiency of a nebulizer can be defined in large part by delivering a major proportion of its output with a particle size of 1 to 5 microns which is small enough to penetrate the tracheobronchial tree. We assessed both the quality and quantity of the SPAG aerosol cloud with the aid of a multistage liquid impinger, utilizing 2% ribavirin and 1% cromolyn sodium solutions. The aerosol of either solution had a mass median aerodynamic diamter (MMAD) of approximately 1.2 microns, and this seemed insensitive to solution strength and nebulization period. Of the solutions of ribavirin and cromolyn sodium 92.3% and 95.0%, respectively, by weight of delivered particles, had aerodynamic diameters less than 5 microns and about 70-75% of the aerosol particles had an aerodynamic diameter in the 1-5 microns range. This implies that the aerosol cloud is adequate for delivery through a ventilator circuit. Performance was maintained over long (16 hours), continuous periods of delivery. The SPAG could be useful for delivery of other respiratory drugs by continuous nebulization.