Skip Navigation LinksHome > April 2007 - Volume 333 - Issue 4 > Outdoor Air Pollution: Particulate Matter Health Effects.
American Journal of the Medical Sciences:
doi: 10.1097/MAJ.0b013e31803b8dcc
Comprehensive Review: Outdoor Air Pollution

Outdoor Air Pollution: Particulate Matter Health Effects.

Chen, Tze-Ming MD; Gokhale, Janaki MD; Shofer, Scott MD, PhD; Kuschner, Ware G. MD

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Abstract

Numerous investigations studying multiple populations across a variety of environmental settings have demonstrated a strong association between ambient air particulate matter and cardiopulmonary morbidity and mortality. In most studies, the effect size of ambient air particulate pollution on health outcomes is small. However, the exposed population worldwide is very large. Accordingly, particulate air pollution appears to be an important public health hazard that makes an important contribution to the total burden of disease and death in populations across the world. Much of the evidence linking ambient air particulates with adverse health effects is derived from population-based, observational research with potential unidentified confounding exposures, precluding definitive assessments about causation and providing limited mechanistic insights. A growing body of research suggests particulate-associated adverse health effects result from the induction of proinflammatory responses in the lower respiratory tract. Ambient air particulates may increase lung cancer risk.

© Copyright 2007 Southern Society for Clinical Investigation

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