Next Article in Journal
Typhoon Rainfall Forecasting by Means of Ensemble Numerical Weather Predictions with a GA-Based Integration Strategy
Previous Article in Journal
Medium-Range Probabilistic Forecasts of Wind Power Generation and Ramps in Japan Based on a Hybrid Ensemble
Previous Article in Special Issue
Short-Term Association between Black Carbon Exposure and Cardiovascular Diseases in Pakistan’s Largest Megacity
Article Menu
Issue 11 (November) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessReview
Atmosphere 2018, 9(11), 424;

Ambient PM2.5 Human Health Effects—Findings in China and Research Directions

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Windsor, Windsor, ON N9B 3P4, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 July 2018 / Revised: 8 October 2018 / Accepted: 23 October 2018 / Published: 30 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Air Pollution on Human Health)
Full-Text   |   PDF [256 KB, uploaded 30 October 2018]


Exposure to fine particulate matter (PM) results in adverse health outcomes. Although this is a global concern, residents of China may be particularly vulnerable due to frequent severe air pollution episodes associated with economic growth, industrialization, and urbanization. Until 2012, PM2.5 was not regulated and monitored in China and annual average concentrations far exceeded the World Health Organizations guidelines of 10 μg/m3. Since the establishment of PM2.5 Ambient Air Quality Criteria in 2012, concentrations have decreased, but still pose significant health risks. A review of ambient PM2.5 health effect studies is warranted to evaluate the current state of knowledge and to prioritize future research efforts. Our review found that recent literature has confirmed associations between PM2.5 exposure and total mortality, cardiovascular mortality, respiratory mortality, hypertension, lung cancer, influenza and other adverse health outcomes. Future studies should take a long-term approach to verify associations between exposure to PM2.5 and health effects. In order to obtain adequate exposure assessment at finer spatial resolutions, high density sampling, satellite remote sensing, or models should be employed. Personal monitoring should also be conducted to validate the use of outdoor concentrations as proxies for exposure. More research efforts should be devoted to seasonal patterns, sub-population susceptibility, and the mechanism by which exposure causes health effects. Submicron and ultrafine PM should also be monitored and regulated. View Full-Text
Keywords: PM2.5; health effects; risks; air pollution; China PM2.5; health effects; risks; air pollution; China
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Supplementary material


Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Miller, L.; Xu, X. Ambient PM2.5 Human Health Effects—Findings in China and Research Directions. Atmosphere 2018, 9, 424.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Atmosphere EISSN 2073-4433 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top