Article

Respiratory Health Effects of Airborne Particulate Matter: The Role of Particle Size, Composition, and Oxidative Potential—The RAPTES Project

National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), Bilthoven, Netherlands.
Environmental Health Perspectives (Impact Factor: 7.98). 05/2012; 120(8):1183-9. DOI: 10.1289/ehp.1104389
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Background: Specific characteristics of particulate matter (PM) responsible for associations with respiratory health observed in epidemiological studies are not well established. High correlations among, and differential measurement errors of, individual components contribute to this uncertainty.
Objectives: We investigated which characteristics of PM have the most consistent associations with acute changes in respiratory function in healthy volunteers.
Methods: We used a semiexperimental design to accurately assess exposure. We increased exposure contrast and reduced correlations among PM characteristics by exposing volunteers at five different locations: an underground train station, two traffic sites, a farm, and an urban background site. Each of the 31 participants was exposed for 5 hr while exercising intermittently, three to seven times at different locations during March–October 2009. We measured PM10, PM2.5, particle number concentrations (PNC), absorbance, elemental/organic carbon, trace metals, secondary inorganic components, endotoxin content, gaseous pollutants, and PM oxidative potential. Lung function [FEV1 (forced expiratory volume in 1 sec), FVC (forced vital capacity), FEF25–75 (forced expiratory flow at 25–75% of vital capacity), and PEF (peak expiratory flow)] and fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FENO) were measured before and at three time points after exposure. Data were analyzed with mixed linear regression.
Results: An interquartile increase in PNC (33,000 particles/cm3) was associated with an 11% [95% confidence interval (CI): 5, 17%] and 12% (95% CI: 6, 17%) FENO increase over baseline immediately and at 2 hr postexposure, respectively. A 7% (95% CI: 0.5, 14%) increase persisted until the following morning. These associations were robust and insensitive to adjustment for other pollutants. Similarly consistent associations were seen between FVC and FEV1 with PNC, NO2 (nitrogen dioxide), and NOx (nitrogen oxides).
Conclusions: Changes in PNC, NO2, and NOx were associated with evidence of acute airway inflammation (i.e., FENO) and impaired lung function. PM mass concentration and PM10 oxidative potential were not predictive of the observed acute responses.

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    • "Also, biologically relevant exposure metrics are under consideration. Many studies have shown that mass concentration is only a rough indicator for the biologically effective dose and some health effects are more closely related to particle number or surface area concentrations (Pekkanen et al., 1997; Peters et al., 1997; Oberdörster, 2000; Brunekreef and Forsberg, 2005; Maynard and Kuempel, 2005; Borm et al., 2006; Delfino et al., 2009; Atkinson et al., 2010; Strak et al., 2012; Saber et al., 2013; Simkó et al., 2014). Thus, guidance on the action values based on the number concentration has recently been suggested for exposure management in certain countries (e.g. "
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    ABSTRACT: The paint and coatings industry is known to have significant particulate matter (PM) emissions to the atmosphere. However, exposure levels are not studied in detail especially when considering submicrometre (PM1) and ultrafine particles (particle diameter below 100nm). The evidence is increasing that pulmonary exposures to these size fractions are potentially very harmful. This study investigates particle emissions during powder handling and paint mixing in two paint factories at two mixing stations in each factory. In each case measurements were made simultaneously at the mixing station (near-field; NF), as well as at 5-15 m distance into the workroom far-field (FF), and in the workers breathing zone. Particle concentrations (5nm to 30 µm) were measured using high time-resolution particle instruments and gravimetrically using PM1 cyclone filter samplers. The PM1 filters were also characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The NF particle and dust concentration levels were linked to pouring powder and were used to characterize the emissions and efficiencies of localized controls. NF particle number concentrations were 1000-40000cm(-3) above FF concentrations. NF particles were mainly between 100 and 500nm and emissions appeared to occur in short bursts. Personal PM1 exposure levels varied between 0.156 and 0.839mg m(-3) and were 1.6-15 times higher than stationary NF PM1 concentrations. SEM results verified that the personal exposure and NF particles were strongly dominated by the pigments and fillers used. Better understanding of the entire temporal personal exposure could be improved by using real-time particle monitors for personal exposure measurements. This study provides better insight into PM exposure characteristics and concentration levels in the paint industry. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Occupational Hygiene Society.
    Annals of Occupational Hygiene 04/2015; 59(6). DOI:10.1093/annhyg/mev014 · 2.07 Impact Factor
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    • "Also, biologically relevant exposure metrics are under consideration. Many studies have shown that mass concentration is only a rough indicator for the biologically effective dose and some health effects are more closely related to particle number or surface area concentrations (Pekkanen et al., 1997; Peters et al., 1997; Oberdörster, 2000; Brunekreef and Forsberg, 2005; Maynard and Kuempel, 2005; Borm et al., 2006; Delfino et al., 2009; Atkinson et al., 2010; Strak et al., 2012; Saber et al., 2013; Simkó et al., 2014). Thus, guidance on the action values based on the number concentration has recently been suggested for exposure management in certain countries (e.g. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The paint and coatings industry is known to have significant particulate matter (PM) emissions to the atmosphere. However, exposure levels are not studied in detail especially when considering submicro-metre (PM 1) and ultrafine particles (particle diameter below 100 nm). The evidence is increasing that pulmonary exposures to these size fractions are potentially very harmful. This study investigates particle emissions during powder handling and paint mixing in two paint factories at two mixing stations in each factory. In each case measurements were made simultaneously at the mixing station (near-field; NF), as well as at 5–15 m distance into the workroom far-field (FF), and in the workers breathing zone. Particle concentrations (5 nm to 30 µm) were measured using high time-resolution particle instruments and gravimetrically using PM 1 cyclone filter samplers. The PM 1 filters were also characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The NF particle and dust concentration levels were linked to pouring powder and were used to characterize the emissions and efficiencies of localized controls. NF particle number concentrations were 1000–40 000 cm −3
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    • "Specifically, we aimed to identify associations between pneumonia during early-life and exposure to eight different particulate matter elements, that are independent of previously observed associations with particulate matter mass (MacIntyre et al., 2013). Although the adverse effects of particulate matter element exposure have been examined in the context of other health outcomes (Strak et al., 2012; Wang et al., 2014), this study is the first to examine the relationship between annual average particulate matter element concentrations at the home address and the development of pneumonia during early childhood. "
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    ABSTRACT: Evidence for a role of long-term particulate matter exposure on acute respiratory infections is growing. However, which components of particulate matter may be causative remains largely unknown. We assessed associations between eight particulate matter elements and early-life pneumonia in seven birth cohort studies (Ntotal=15,980): BAMSE (Sweden), GASPII (Italy), GINIplus and LISAplus (Germany), INMA (Spain), MAAS (United Kingdom) and PIAMA (The Netherlands). Annual average exposure to copper, iron, potassium, nickel, sulfur, silicon, vanadium and zinc, each respectively derived from particles with aerodynamic diameters≤10μm (PM10) and 2.5μm (PM2.5), were estimated using standardized land use regression models and assigned to birth addresses. Cohort-specific associations between these exposures and parental reports of physician-diagnosed pneumonia between birth and two years were assessed using logistic regression models adjusted for host and environmental covariates and total PM10 or PM2.5 mass. Combined estimates were calculated using random-effects meta-analysis. There was substantial within and between-cohort variability in element concentrations. In the adjusted meta-analysis, pneumonia was weakly associated with zinc derived from PM10 (OR: 1.47 (95% CI: 0.99, 2.18) per 20ng/m(3) increase). No other associations with the other elements were consistently observed. The independent effect of particulate matter mass remained after adjustment for element concentrations. In conclusion, associations between particulate matter mass exposure and pneumonia were not explained by the elements we investigated. Zinc from PM10 was the only element which appeared independently associated with a higher risk of early-life pneumonia. As zinc is primarily attributable to non-tailpipe traffic emissions, these results may suggest a potential adverse effect of non-tailpipe emissions on health.
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