Air Quality and Human Health

A section of Atmosphere (ISSN 2073-4433).

Section Information

The association between air quality and human health is one of the most controversial topics in current research. Air pollution is considered one of the leading environmental risk factor for human health globally, especially with regard to ambient fine particular matter (PM2.5), ozone, and some non-criteria pollutants that are considered to have the highest toxicity, such as metals, organics, ultrafine particles, and black carbon. The interplay between these variables and human health is a popular choice of study. Indirect health impacts also exist, for example, due to changes in vector-borne disease risk, food availability, and agricultural production. Both epidemiology and toxicity mechanism studies are needed to understand the role of air quality on specific health outcomes, including inflammation, DNA changes, cancer, respiratory and neurological diseases, severe cognitive deficit, and brain structural change. Notably, scientifically sound metrics to quantitatively measure atmosphere effects on human health, potentially causing several million deaths per year, are still missing. Therefore, it is necessary to develop significant scientific evidence to guide the development of new recommendations, policies, and legislation.

Articles that consider all associations between atmospheric composition and health impacts, especially with regard to air pollution and aerosols, aerobiology, toxicology, and epidemiology in all regions of the world, are welcome. We also welcome multidisciplinary studies that attempt to use the contextualization of science to solve this broad societal challenge.

Keywords

  • air pollution;
  • fine aerosol particles;
  • ultrafine particles;
  • epidemiology
  • toxicology;
  • exposure;
  • doses;
  • black carbon;
  • metals;
  • organics;
  • metrics;
  • legislation

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