[Health effects of particulate matter exposure: current scientific knowledge]
Institut für Arbeitsmedizin, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Freie Universität Berlin und Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin. email@example.com
INTRODUCTION: Air quality is not only important for respiratory health but it also influences the homeostasis of the whole human organism. In the past years numerous violations of European Union particulate matter thresholds have been recorded. METHODS: The present study is a selective literature analysis encompassing the epidemiology and pathophysiological effects of particulate matter. RESULTS: Epidemiological studies point to an association between chronic particulate matter exposure and mortality. The most prominent effects on the human body are present in subjects with cardiovascular or respiratory conditions. However, the effects of air pollutants need to be examined critically and the plausibility of thresholds should be evaluated in detail. DISCUSSION: The negative influences of chronic particulate matter exposure have been proven by a multitude of epidemiological and experimental studies. From the viewpoint of primary prevention, air quality plays a crucial role. This encompasses both the outdoor compartment with particulate matter and other pollutants and the indoor compartment with tobacco smoke.
PMID: 19591081 [PubMed - in process]