Title: A review of controlled human SO₂ exposure studies contributing to the US EPA integrated science assessment for sulfur oxides.
Authors: Johns, Douglas O; Linn, William S
Published In Inhal Toxicol, (2011 Jan)
Abstract: Laboratory studies involving intentional and highly controlled exposures to air pollutants among groups of human volunteers provide valuable information related to the potential health effects of pollutants regulated under the US Clean Air Act. These controlled human exposure studies often provide biological plausibility for the associations between air-pollutant concentration and a given health endpoint observed in epidemiologic investigations. In some cases, results from human laboratory studies provide evidence of a relevant health effect at ambient or near-ambient concentrations and thus directly support the selection of air quality standard levels. In the recently completed review of the US National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for sulfur dioxide (SO₂), the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concluded that short-term exposures to SO₂ are causally associated with an increase in respiratory morbidity. This determination was based in large part on findings from laboratory studies of controlled exposures to SO₂ among small groups of asthmatic individuals. The purpose of this review is to concisely present an overview of the evidence from controlled human exposure studies of SO₂-induced respiratory health effects following short-term exposures. While the majority of these studies were conducted over 20 years ago, the findings and insights gained from this work continues to play an integral role in evaluating the respiratory effects of ambient exposures to SO₂.
PubMed ID: 21222560
MeSH Terms: Air Pollutants/toxicity*; Asthma/complications; Bronchoconstriction*; Environmental Exposure/adverse effects*; Humans; Inhalation Exposure*; Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic; Sulfur Dioxide/toxicity*; Time Factors; United States; United States Environmental Protection Agency