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Publications (3)7.46 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Ambient particle number concentration (PNC) has been linked with adverse health outcomes such as asthma, reduced lung function and cardiovascular disease. To investigate the relationship between PNC, meteorology and traffic we measured size segregated respirable particles in a busy commuter street in Swansea, UK for ten months using a Dekati Electrical Low Pressure Impactor (ELPI). The ELPI segregates particles into 12 size fractions between 7 nm and 10 μm. The median PNC for the sampling period was 31,545 cm- 3. For the ultrafine particles (7-93 nm), the highest PNC was found in winter (46,615 cm- 3; 15 minute average) and the lowest for that size fraction in summer (29,696 cm- 3). For the particles below 93 nm there was a trimodal distribution to weekdays (particularly Monday to Wednesday), with PNC peaks at 09:00, 16:00 and 23:00. Wind direction had a significant influence on PNC and differed between particles in the fine range (below 2.5 μm) and more coarse particles (up to 10 μm). For fine particles, winds parallel to the canyon were associated with higher PNCs which were attributed to the replenishment of traffic particles. For coarse particles, PNCs were higher from winds perpendicular to the canyon and this was linked to source distribution around the sampling site and the recirculation of pollutants within the canyon. During times when vehicle volumes were high and vehicles were exhibiting stop-start behaviour, if this was combined with low wind speeds, ultrafine PNC was highest. This effect was generally observed during the morning rush hour. Current mass-based legislation does not take into account exposure to the number of particles or the change in population exposure diurnally.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2014 · Atmospheric Research
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    ABSTRACT: Context: Exposure to ambient particulate air pollution is associated with increased cardiovascular and respiratory morbidity and mortality. It is necessary to understand causal pathways driving the observed health effects, particularly if they are differentially associated with particle size. Objectives: To investigate the effect of different size ranges of ambient particulate matter (PM) on gene and protein expression in an in vitro model. Materials and methods: Normal human tracheobronchial epithelium (NHTBE) three-dimensional cell constructs were exposed for 24 h to washed ambient PM of different sizes (size 1: 7-615 nm; size 2: 616 nm-2.39 µm; size 3: 2.4-10 µm) collected from a residential street. A human stress and toxicity PCR array was used to investigate gene expression and iTRAQ was used to perform quantitative proteomics. Results: Eighteen different genes of the 84 on the PCR array were significantly dysregulated. Treatment with size 2 PM resulted in the greatest number of genes with altered expression, followed by size 1 and lastly size 3. ITRAQ identified 317 proteins, revealing 20 that were differentially expressed. Enrichment for gene ontology classification revealed potential changes to various pathways. Discussion and conclusions: Different size fractions of ambient PM are associated with dysregulatory effects on the cellular proteome and on stress and toxicity genes of NHTBE cells. This approach not only provides an investigative tool to identify possible causal pathways but also permits the relationship between particle size and responses to be explored.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2012 · Inhalation Toxicology
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    ABSTRACT: Urban air particulate matter (PM) has previously been associated with a variety of adverse health effects. It is now believed that the smallest particles, ultrafine or nanoparticles, are linked to the greatest health effects. The physicochemistry of these particles is likely to provide information regarding their toxicity. Therefore, the aim of this study was to further the understanding of the heterogeneous and changing particle concentrations in urban air, in conjunction with gaining an understanding of the physicochemistry of the particles. A Dekati electrical low-pressure impactor was used to collect the particles and real-time data in a busy traffic corridor in Swansea, Wales, over a period of 10 nonconsecutive weeks. Particle concentrations in the street canyon were analyzed and particle physicochemistries investigated using a variety of techniques. Particle number concentrations were found to vary both diurnally and from day to day in the traffic corridor. Of all particles, the nano to fine size fraction was consistently identified in the highest concentrations (maximum: 140,000 particles cm(-3)). Particle physicochemistry was found to vary as a function of size, with larger particles exhibiting a greater variety of morphologies (and consequently particle types) and associated metals.
    Preview · Article · Feb 2010 · Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health Part A