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Your Environment. Your Health.

Publication Detail

Title: Effects of metals within ambient air particulate matter (PM) on human health.

Authors: Chen, Lung Chi; Lippmann, Morton

Published In Inhal Toxicol, (2009 Jan)

Abstract: We review literature providing insights on health-related effects caused by inhalation of ambient air particulate matter (PM) containing metals, emphasizing effects associated with in vivo exposures at or near contemporary atmospheric concentrations. Inhalation of much higher concentrations, and high-level exposures via intratracheal (IT) instillation that inform mechanistic processes, are also reviewed. The most informative studies of effects at realistic exposure levels, in terms of identifying influential individual PM components or source-related mixtures, have been based on (1) human and laboratory animal exposures to concentrated ambient particles (CAPs), and (2) human population studies for which both health-related effects were observed and PM composition data were available for multipollutant regression analyses or source apportionment. Such studies have implicated residual oil fly ash (ROFA) as the most toxic source-related mixture, and Ni and V, which are characteristic tracers of ROFA, as particularly influential components in terms of acute cardiac function changes and excess short-term mortality. There is evidence that other metals within ambient air PM, such as Pb and Zn, also affect human health. Most evidence now available is based on the use of ambient air PM components concentration data, rather than actual exposures, to determine significant associations and/or effects coefficients. Therefore, considerable uncertainties about causality are associated with exposure misclassification and measurement errors. As more PM speciation data and more refined modeling techniques become available, and as more CAPs studies involving PM component analyses are performed, the roles of specific metals and other components within PM will become clearer.

PubMed ID: 18803063 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Air/analysis; Animals; Carbon/analysis; Carbon/toxicity; Clinical Trials as Topic; Coal Ash; Humans; Inhalation/physiology; Metals/analysis; Metals/toxicity*; Particulate Matter/analysis; Particulate Matter/toxicity*

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