PM2.5 and PM10: Atmospheric Behaviors and Correlation with Health Effects

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Sciences".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2022) | Viewed by 13671

Special Issue Editors

Institute of Nature and Environmental Technology, Kanazawa University, Kakuma-machi, Kanazawa 920-1192, Japan
Interests: polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs); nitropolycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (NPAHs); atmospheric behavior; toxification
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Department of Hygiene and Public Health, Graduate School of Medicine, Kanazawa University, Kanazawa 920-8640, Japan
Interests: epidemiology; health risk; respiratory diseases; athsma; allergy; environmental chemicals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Air pollution causes several million deaths each year. Epidemiological studies have shown that air pollution is related to many diseases in both the respiratory and cardiovascular systems, such as lung cancer and asthma, and arrhythmias and myocardial infarction. Air pollution has also been related to adverse birth outcomes, infant mortality, neurodevelopmental disorders, and child obesity. Among pollutants, particulate matter (PM) is considered as one of the most serious air pollutants. Both PM2.5 and PM10 emitted from the combustion of fossil fuels and biomass contain strong toxic chemicals such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and their derivatives. The present air pollution levels are above the World Health Organization (WHO)’s guidelines in Africa, Southeast Asia, the Eastern Mediterranean, and the Western Pacific regions. It is important to understand the causes of air pollution in these regions, the exposure risks to humans, and the mechanisms of adverse health effects, not only to predict future air quality, but also to develop suitable countermeasures.

From the point of view of epidemiological relations between atmospheric PM2.5 and PM10 and adverse health effects, this Special Issue of Applied Sciences invites submissions that explore the cutting-edge research and recent advances in the fields of PM, coexisting toxic chemicals such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and oxidants, and their atmospheric reaction, metabolic activation, exposure to humans, epidemiological relation with diseases, and health risks, as well as comprehensive review and survey papers.

Prof. Dr. Kazuichi Hayakawa
Prof. Dr. Hiroyuki Nakamura
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • PM2.5
  • PM10
  • polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)
  • atmospheric reaction
  • metabolic activation
  • exposure to humans
  • epidemiology, health risk
  • respiratory diseases
  • asthma
  • allergy

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

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11 pages, 466 KiB  
Article
Longitudinal Study on the Association between Ambient Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons and Nasal Symptoms in Adult Japanese
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(24), 12544; https://doi.org/10.3390/app122412544 - 07 Dec 2022
Viewed by 769
Abstract
The relationship between exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and nasal symptoms currently remains unclear. Therefore, we herein examine this relationship in 51 adults living in Ishikawa prefecture, Japan, and conducted a 2 month follow-up survey on these participants. All participants were asked to [...] Read more.
The relationship between exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and nasal symptoms currently remains unclear. Therefore, we herein examine this relationship in 51 adults living in Ishikawa prefecture, Japan, and conducted a 2 month follow-up survey on these participants. All participants were asked to record daily nasal symptoms in an allergy diary during the study period between 1 April to 31 May 2020. We collected air pollutant samples during the study period and determined the concentrations of PAHs and total suspended particulates by high-performance liquid chromatography. Sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide concentrations were obtained through the Atmospheric Environmental Regional Observation System. We used generalized estimating equations to analyze the association between pollutant and nasal symptoms. After adjustment for confounding factors, the B values of fluoranthene, pyrene, and Benzo[k]fluoranthene were 2.389 (p = 0.026), 3.744 (p = 0.022) and 9.604 (p = 0.041), respectively, with a one-day lag. In contrast, the B value of indeno[1,2,3-cd]pyrene was −6.664 (p = 0.013) with no lag. Collectively, these results suggest ambient PAHs such as Flt, Pyr, and BkF were associated with nasal symptoms in adults. Further studies are needed to elucidate the mechanisms contributing to the relationships between specific PAHs and nasal symptoms. Full article
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11 pages, 456 KiB  
Article
Association between Cough and Ambient Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Patients with Chronic Cough: An Observational Study in Two Regions of Japan
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(24), 12505; https://doi.org/10.3390/app122412505 - 07 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1167
Abstract
Ambient polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons’ (PAHs) specific components are likely involved in respiratory disease development and exacerbation in children and adults. Airborne PAH exposure’s effects on cough symptoms in children and adults with chronic coughs in Kanazawa and Fukuoka, Japan, were investigated in this [...] Read more.
Ambient polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons’ (PAHs) specific components are likely involved in respiratory disease development and exacerbation in children and adults. Airborne PAH exposure’s effects on cough symptoms in children and adults with chronic coughs in Kanazawa and Fukuoka, Japan, were investigated in this longitudinal study. A total of 98 patients with chronic coughs were enrolled and followed up between 1 April and 31 May 2020. The enrolled patients were non-smoking adults and children aged 3–83 years. Cough diaries were used to record and collect daily cough symptoms. High-performance liquid chromatography coupled with a fluorescence detector was used to determine the particulate PAH content in daily total suspended particles collected on quartz fiber filters. Ambient concentrations of fine particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, and sulfur dioxide were obtained from local monitoring sites. Generalized estimated equations were used to estimate the association between daily PAHs and cough symptoms. Among nine PAHs measured, benz[a]anthracene (BaA) was significantly associated with cough symptoms for both lag4 and lag5 PAH exposure. These findings suggest that airborne specific PAHs, especially BaA, affect cough symptoms in children and adults with chronic cough. Further studies are needed to develop effective measures to prevent respiratory diseases against specific PAHs. Full article
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11 pages, 3157 KiB  
Article
Analysis of Chemical Components of Fine Particulate Matter Observed at Fukuoka, Japan, in Spring 2020 and Their Transport Paths
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(22), 11400; https://doi.org/10.3390/app122211400 - 10 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 979
Abstract
Focusing on the components of fine particulate matter, i.e., PM2.5, we have analyzed the factors that led to the high concentrations of each chemical component in PM2.5 during our observations in Fukuoka, Japan in spring 2020. The backward trajectory showed [...] Read more.
Focusing on the components of fine particulate matter, i.e., PM2.5, we have analyzed the factors that led to the high concentrations of each chemical component in PM2.5 during our observations in Fukuoka, Japan in spring 2020. The backward trajectory showed that air masses reached Fukuoka via the Yellow Sea and the southern part of South Korea when PM2.5 and each chemical component were high in concentrations. On the other hand, diurnal variations in ozone were also observed, suggesting that both transboundary and local air pollution are involved. Air masses reached the southern part of the Kyushu region when only sulfate concentrations were high. A volcano eruption led the high sulfate concentration. When only polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) concentrations were high, air masses often reached the northern part of Kyushu, indicating that there may be a specific local source for PAHs. Full article
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9 pages, 1209 KiB  
Article
Efficacy of Mask Wearing in Preventing the Deleterious Health Effects of the Ionic Components of PM2.5-Possibility Seen in Allergic Patients
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(21), 11185; https://doi.org/10.3390/app122111185 - 04 Nov 2022
Viewed by 935
Abstract
Mask wearing can protect health care workers. However, its efficacy in avoiding the health effects of air pollution is not well studied. Recently, we evaluated the relationship between air pollution and health status or peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR). At the beginning of [...] Read more.
Mask wearing can protect health care workers. However, its efficacy in avoiding the health effects of air pollution is not well studied. Recently, we evaluated the relationship between air pollution and health status or peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR). At the beginning of that study, about 20% of people were wearing masks. However, in the same period one year later, most people were wearing masks because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, in this study, we examined the relationship between mask wearing, concentration of ionic components of PM2.5, respiratory symptoms, and PEFR. Seventy-two patients in Fukuoka City with asthma and allergic diseases measured PEFR daily and recorded respiratory symptoms and mask wearing in a diary. We measured the ionic components of PM2.5 in Fukuoka City and examined the relationships between patient measurements, mask wearing, and air pollution. Univariate analysis showed that, in 2020, but not in 2021, some ionic components of PM2.5, i.e., Cl, NO3, Na+, and Mg2+, were significantly correlated with the frequency of cough and nasal symptoms and a decrease in PEFR. Some ionic components of PM2.5 may increase the frequency of respiratory symptoms and decrease PEFR in patients with allergic diseases; however, this tendency is not seen when masks are used. The use of masks may be one of the factors that attenuate the effects of PM2.5 ionic components. Full article
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11 pages, 4985 KiB  
Article
Clear Declining Behaviors and Causes in Atmospheric Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Concentrations at the West End of Japan from 2017 to 2021
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(21), 10963; https://doi.org/10.3390/app122110963 - 29 Oct 2022
Viewed by 924
Abstract
In order to determine recent behaviors in atmospheric polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) concentrations at the west end of Japan and to reveal the causes of these behaviors, atmospheric PAH concentrations were measured in suburban and forest sites of Nagasaki, Japan from 2017 to [...] Read more.
In order to determine recent behaviors in atmospheric polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) concentrations at the west end of Japan and to reveal the causes of these behaviors, atmospheric PAH concentrations were measured in suburban and forest sites of Nagasaki, Japan from 2017 to 2021. The results showed that the total concentration of PAHs decreased considerably by 60% and 57% in suburban and forest sites, respectively, over this period. When analyzed by season, the rate of decrease in winter was markedly high. Therefore, the decreasing behavior in PAH concentrations in Nagasaki in recent years was considered to be mainly due to less PAHs originating from cold continental regions such as northern China. In particular, the reduction in coal and biomass combustion for winter heating in households, the efforts to improve air quality, and the limitation of economic activities in response to COVID-19 were likely responsible for the decrease in atmospheric PAH concentrations. In addition, although the PAH concentrations decreased, there was no significant change in the breakdown of the number of benzene rings in the PAH or in the attributes of their sources. Full article
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10 pages, 708 KiB  
Article
The Ionic Component of PM2.5 May Be Associated with Respiratory Symptoms and Peak Expiratory Flow Rate
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(19), 10082; https://doi.org/10.3390/app121910082 - 07 Oct 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1049
Abstract
(1) Background: Few studies have evaluated the association between the ionic components of PM2.5 and respiratory symptoms or peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR). The aim of this study was to clarify these associations. (2) Methods: Patients with allergic diseases treated at Fukuoka Hospital [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Few studies have evaluated the association between the ionic components of PM2.5 and respiratory symptoms or peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR). The aim of this study was to clarify these associations. (2) Methods: Patients with allergic diseases treated at Fukuoka Hospital recorded their morning and evening PEFR and respiratory symptoms in a diary. We measured PM2.5 and its ionic components in Fukuoka City and examined the relationship with PEFR and respiratory symptoms by univariate and multivariate analysis. (3) Results: Among the ionic components of PM2.5, Cl, NO3, Na+, K+, and Mg2+ were significantly correlated with the frequency of coughing and nasal symptoms. In univariate analysis, the concentrations of each of the above ions was significantly associated with a decrease in PEFR and the concentrations of each was associated with at least one respiratory symptom or PEFR. Multivariate analysis of items significantly correlated with PEFR indicated that the concentration of ionic components may predict changes in PEFR. (4) Conclusions: In patients with allergic diseases, some ionic components of PM2.5 may increase the frequency of respiratory symptoms and decrease PEFR, so further study and caution are required in daily clinical practice. Full article
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11 pages, 1564 KiB  
Article
Effects of Oxidized Pyrenes on the Biological Responses in the Human Bronchial Epithelial Cells
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(19), 9664; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12199664 - 26 Sep 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1159
Abstract
Although polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are toxic, the effects of oxidized PAHs on health and biological responses remain unclear. In this study, we examined the in vitro effects of varying concentrations of pyrene, a type of PAH, and its quinone forms, namely 4,5-pyrenequinone [...] Read more.
Although polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are toxic, the effects of oxidized PAHs on health and biological responses remain unclear. In this study, we examined the in vitro effects of varying concentrations of pyrene, a type of PAH, and its quinone forms, namely 4,5-pyrenequinone (PyQ) and 1,8-PyQ + 1,6-PyQ, on human lung epithelial (BEAS-2B) cells. We evaluated cell viability, apoptosis, and the production of interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8, soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM-1), and reactive oxygen species (ROS). Exposure to 1 μM 4,5-PyQ or 1,8-PyQ + 1,6-PyQ increased the cellular activity. At 3 µM, 4,5-PyQ increased the number of late apoptotic and/or necrotic cells compared with those in the control, whereas 1,8-PyQ + 1,6-PyQ increased the number of dead cells. Exposure to 4,5-PyQ at 10 µM decreased IL-6 production and exposure to both 4,5-PyQ and 1,8-PyQ + 1,6-PyQ at 3 or 10 µM decreased IL-8 production. sICAM-1 production was increased after 1,8-PyQ + 1,6-PyQ exposure at 10 µM. In the presence of cells, 4,5-PyQ and 1,8-PyQ + 1,6-PyQ increased ROS production significantly in a concentration-dependent manner; similar results were observed with 1,8-PyQ + 1,6-PyQ without cells. Overall, our results suggest that oxidized PAHs induce stronger respiratory toxicity/inflammatory responses than PAHs. Full article
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14 pages, 3014 KiB  
Article
Seasonal Variability and Risk Assessment of Atmospheric Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons and Hydroxylated Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Kanazawa, Japan
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(19), 9469; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12199469 - 21 Sep 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1319
Abstract
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and hydroxylated PAHs (OH-PAHs) are ubiquitous atmospheric pollutants that are a concern because of their endocrine disrupting activities. In this study, seasonal air sampling was conducted in 2017 and 2018 in Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan. The concentrations and seasonal [...] Read more.
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and hydroxylated PAHs (OH-PAHs) are ubiquitous atmospheric pollutants that are a concern because of their endocrine disrupting activities. In this study, seasonal air sampling was conducted in 2017 and 2018 in Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan. The concentrations and seasonal variations of PAHs and OH-PAHs were analyzed, and health risks of individual congeners were evaluated based on their relative endocrine activity. The atmospheric concentrations of PAHs and OH-PAHs showed seasonal trends with higher concentrations in the winter (daily average ± standard deviation: 1.00 ± 0.26 ng/m3 for PAHs and 75.06 ± 23.38 pg/m3 for OH-PAHs) and lower concentrations in the summer (0.30 ± 0.09 ng/m3 for PAHs and 17.08 ± 4.83 pg/m3 for OH-PAHs). There were significant positive correlations between the concentrations of atmospheric PAHs and OH-PAHs. Additionally, the health risk from the endocrine disrupting potential of each OH-PAH was evaluated using relative estrogenic and antiestrogenic activities. OH-PAHs with four rings, such as OH-chrysenes and OH-benz[a]anthracene, had particularly high health risks. These results suggest that atmospheric OH-PAHs are a potential health risk for organisms and thus warrant further research. Full article
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9 pages, 1662 KiB  
Article
Different Transport Behaviors between Asian Dust and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Urban Areas: Monitoring in Fukuoka and Kanazawa, Japan
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(11), 5404; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12115404 - 26 May 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1347
Abstract
To clarify different effects of Asian dust (AD), long-range transported from Asian continent, on total suspended particles (TSP) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Japan, TSP were simultaneously collected during AD periods (from 1 March to 31 May 2020 and 2021) in Fukuoka [...] Read more.
To clarify different effects of Asian dust (AD), long-range transported from Asian continent, on total suspended particles (TSP) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Japan, TSP were simultaneously collected during AD periods (from 1 March to 31 May 2020 and 2021) in Fukuoka and Kanazawa. During AD days, decided by Light Detection and Ranging and Japan Meteorological Agency, TSP concentrations increased significantly (p < 0.001) at two sampling sites. PAH concentrations increased in Kanazawa (p < 0.001) but not in Fukuoka on AD days. Correlation coefficients (r) between daily TSP and total PAHs concentrations were weak in Kanazawa: 0.521 (non-AD) and 0.526 (AD) (p < 0.01), and in Fukuoka: 0.321 (non-AD) and 0.059 (AD). However, correlation between seasonal (average monthly) TSP and total PAH concentrations were stronger: 0.680 (Kanazawa) and 0.751 (Fukuoka). The reasons might be that seasonal variations of TSP and total PAHs in two cities depend equally on planetary scale westerly, while daily TSP and total PAHs variations in each city varied by different transportation distances from AD and PAHs sources in the Asian continent to Japan. Different local sources and meteorological conditions were considered. These results are important for elucidating the causes of chronic and acute respiratory diseases. Full article
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12 pages, 1497 KiB  
Article
Long-Term and Seasonal Changes in Sources of Urban Atmospheric Particulates in the Western Pacific
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(4), 2149; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12042149 - 18 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1167
Abstract
To reduce atmospheric pollutants, the sources need to be identified. To this end, combustion-derived particulates (Pc) in atmospheric suspended particulate matter (TSP) in ten Western Pacific cities from 1997 to 2018 were analyzed using the NP method, which we have recently [...] Read more.
To reduce atmospheric pollutants, the sources need to be identified. To this end, combustion-derived particulates (Pc) in atmospheric suspended particulate matter (TSP) in ten Western Pacific cities from 1997 to 2018 were analyzed using the NP method, which we have recently developed. The method separates Pc into particulates originating from high-temperature (Ph) and low-temperature (Pl) combustion sources. Using this method, ten cities in the Asia-Pacific region were separated into three classes. Class 1: commercial cities whose major contributor to Pc was from vehicles, and which showed lower [Pc] values with larger [Ph]/[Pc] ratios. Sapporo, Kanazawa, Tokyo, Sagamihara (Japan), Shanghai (China), and Busan (Korea) were contained in this class. Class 2: cities whose main source of Pc was from coal heating, and which showed much higher winter [Pc] with larger [Pl]/[Pc] ratios. Beijing, Shenyang (China), and Vladivostok (Russia) were contained in this class. Class 3: steel manufacturing city which showed lower [Pc] with larger [Pl]/[Pc] ratio. The low [Pc] appeared to be due to elimination of Pl from coke oven plants. Only Kitakyushu was contained in this class. This study has elucidated the contribution of sources to urban atmospheric TSP in the Western Pacific that was previously unknown. Overall [Pc] was decreasing in this region, mainly due to the decreasing contribution of vehicles to Pc, but not due to a decrease in coal combustion. Full article
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Review

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22 pages, 1164 KiB  
Review
Recent Research Progress on Nitropolycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Outdoor and Indoor Environments
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(21), 11259; https://doi.org/10.3390/app122111259 - 06 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1620
Abstract
Nitropolycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (NPAHs) are derivatives of PAHs and contain one or more nitro functional groups (-NO2). Some NPAHs are classified as possible or probable human carcinogens and are more mutagenic than PAHs. Although the atmospheric cancer risk is estimated as [...] Read more.
Nitropolycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (NPAHs) are derivatives of PAHs and contain one or more nitro functional groups (-NO2). Some NPAHs are classified as possible or probable human carcinogens and are more mutagenic than PAHs. Although the atmospheric cancer risk is estimated as 11% from PAHs but 17% from NPAHs, many of the atmospheric behaviors of NPAHs are unknown. There are two major NPAH formation processes. Primary formation of NPAHs occurs directly during the combustion of organic materials. The secondary formation of NPAHs occurs through the transformation of PAHs after they have been released into the environment. The fate, transport, and health effects of NPAHs are considerably different from their parent PAHs because of these differing formation processes. However, the amount of research conducted on NPAHs is comparatively low relative to PAHs. This is primarily due to a lack of effective analytical method for NPAHs, which generally exist in the environment at concentrations one to three orders of magnitude lower than PAHs. However, with the development of more sensitive analytical methods, the number of research papers published on NPAHs has recently increased. The Western Pacific region, one of the post polluted areas in the world, is the most frequently studied area for NPAHs. Many of them reported that atmospheric concentrations of NPAHs were much lower than parent PAHs and oxygenated derivatives (OPAHs). In this article, recent research on sample treatment and analysis, as well as the sources and environmental fate of NPAHs, are discussed with PAHs and OPAHs. A notable achievement using NPAHs is the development of a new emission source analysis method, the NP method, whose features are also discussed in this review. Full article
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