Skip Navigation
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Your Environment. Your Health.

Publication Detail

Title: A critical review of assays for hazardous components of air pollution.

Authors: Forman, Henry Jay; Finch, Caleb Ellicott

Published In Free Radic Biol Med, (2018 03)

Abstract: Increased mortality and diverse morbidities are globally associated with exposure to ambient air pollution (AAP), cigarette smoke (CS), and household air pollution (HAP). The AAP-CS-HAP aerosols present heterogeneous particulate matter (PM) of diverse chemical and physical characteristics. Some epidemiological models have assumed the same health hazards by PM weight for AAP, CS, and HAP regardless of the composition. While others have recognized that biological activities and toxicity will vary with components, we focus particularly on oxidation because of its major role in assay outcomes. Our review of PM assays considers misinterpretations of some chemical measures used for oxidative activity. Overall, there is low consistency across chemical and cell-based assays for oxidative and inflammatory activity. We also note gaps in understanding how much airborne PM of various sizes enter cells and organs. For CS, the body burden per cigarette may be much below current assumptions. Synergies shown for health hazards of AAP and CS suggest crosstalk in detoxification pathways mediated by AHR, NF-κB, and Nrf2. These complex genomic and biochemical interactions frustrate resolution of the toxicity of specific AAP components. We propose further strategies based on targeted gene expression based on cell-type differences.

PubMed ID: 29407794 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Air Pollution/adverse effects; Air Pollution/analysis*; Biological Assay/methods; Humans; Particulate Matter/adverse effects; Particulate Matter/analysis*; Smoke/adverse effects; Smoke/analysis; Tobacco Products

to Top