Author(s): Harrison RM, Yin J
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Abstract Whilst epidemiological studies have consistently demonstrated adverse effects of particulate matter exposure on human health, the mechanism of effect is currently unclear. One of the major issues is whether the toxicity of the particles resides in some particular fraction of the particles as defined by chemical composition or size. This article reviews selected data on the major and minor component composition of PM2.5 and PM10 particulate matter showing quite major geographic variations in composition which are not reflected in the exposure-response coefficients determined from the epidemiology which show remarkably little spatial variation. The issue of particle size is more difficult to address due to the scarcity of data. Overall, the data presented provides little support for the idea that any single major or trace component of the particulate matter is responsible for the adverse effects. The issue of particle size is currently unclear and more research is warranted.
This article was published in Sci Total Environ
and referenced in Journal of Geology & Geophysics