Special Issue "Impacts of Air Pollution on Human Health"

A special issue of Atmosphere (ISSN 2073-4433). This special issue belongs to the section "Air Quality".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 July 2018).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Ian Colbeck
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Biological Sciences, University of Essex, Colchester, UK
Interests: physico-chemical properties of aerosols; indoor air quality and health impacts of aerosols; nanoparticles in the environment; environment–society interactions

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

According to the World Health Organization, air pollution causes around seven million deaths per year. Air pollution from both outdoor and indoor sources represents the single largest environmental risk to health globally. Governments around the world are considering a range of policies, particularly related to road transport, to take into account the health and environmental impacts of poor air quality. However, the majority of people spend most of their time exposed to air inside buildings so this also needs to be considered. In developing countries, the use of biofuels results in significantly elevated concentrations of particulate matter in the indoor environment which predominantly affects women and small children.

The impact of air pollution on human health may only evident after lifetime exposure or short-term exposure to elevated concentrations. It depends upon a range of components such as concentration, dosimetry factors, toxicity and length of exposure.

This Special Issue will consider all “Impacts of Air Pollution on Human Health”.

Prof. Dr. Ian Colbeck
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Atmosphere is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • air pollution
  • human health
  • epidemiology
  • developing countries
  • particulate matter
  • nitrogen dioxide
  • vehicle emissions
  • indoor air
  • exposure
  • biomass fuel

Published Papers (11 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle
Short-Term Association between Black Carbon Exposure and Cardiovascular Diseases in Pakistan’s Largest Megacity
Atmosphere 2018, 9(11), 420; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9110420 - 26 Oct 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
This study investigated the association between black carbon (BC) exposure and hospital admissions (HAs) and outpatient department/emergency room (OPD/ER) visits for cardiovascular diseases (CVD) among residents of Karachi, the largest city in Pakistan. We measured daily concentrations of BC in fine particulate matter [...] Read more.
This study investigated the association between black carbon (BC) exposure and hospital admissions (HAs) and outpatient department/emergency room (OPD/ER) visits for cardiovascular diseases (CVD) among residents of Karachi, the largest city in Pakistan. We measured daily concentrations of BC in fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and collected records of HAs and OPD/ER visits for CVD from 2 major tertiary care hospitals serving Karachi for 6 weeks continuously during each quarter over 1 year (August 2008–August 2009). We subsequently analyzed daily counts of hospital and BC data over 0–3 lag days. Daily mean BC concentrations varied from 1 to 32 µg/m3. Results suggest that BC concentrations are associated with CVD HAs and OPD/ER visits. However, associations were generally only observed when modeled with BC from Tibet Center, the commercial-residential site, as compared to Korangi, the industrial-residential site. Overall, low statistical significance suggests that while BC may be a valuable indicator for CVD health risks from combustion-derived particles, further evaluation of the constituents of PM2.5 and their relative contributions to CVD health impacts is necessary. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Air Pollution on Human Health)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
A Controlled Study on the Characterisation of Bioaerosols Emissions from Compost
Atmosphere 2018, 9(10), 379; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9100379 - 28 Sep 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
Bioaerosol emissions arising from biowaste treatment are an issue of public concern. To better characterise the bioaerosols, and to assess a range of measurement methods, we aerosolised green waste compost under controlled conditions. Viable and non-viable Andersen samplers, cyclone samplers and a real [...] Read more.
Bioaerosol emissions arising from biowaste treatment are an issue of public concern. To better characterise the bioaerosols, and to assess a range of measurement methods, we aerosolised green waste compost under controlled conditions. Viable and non-viable Andersen samplers, cyclone samplers and a real time bioaerosol detection system (Spectral Intensity Bioaerosol Sensor (SIBS)) were deployed simultaneously. The number-weighted fraction of fluorescent particles was in the range 22–26% of all particles for low and high emission scenarios. Overall fluorescence spectral profiles seen by the SIBS exhibited several peaks across the 16 wavelength bands from 298 to 735 nm. The size-fractionated endotoxin profile showed most endotoxin resided in the 2.1–9 μm aerodynamic diameter fraction, though up to 27% was found in a finer size fraction. A range of microorganisms were detected through culture, Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption and Ionisation Time of Flight Mass Spectrometry (MALDI-TOF) and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), including Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1. These findings contribute to our knowledge of the physico-chemical and biological characteristics of bioaerosols from composting sites, as well as informing future monitoring approaches and data interpretation for bioaerosol measurement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Air Pollution on Human Health)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Exposure to Outdoor Particles (PM2.5) and Associated Child Morbidity and Mortality in Socially Deprived Neighborhoods of Nairobi, Kenya
Atmosphere 2018, 9(9), 351; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9090351 - 11 Sep 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
Exposure to air pollution is associated with adverse health outcomes. However, the health burden related to ambient outdoor air pollution in sub-Saharan Africa remains unclear. This study examined the relationship between exposure to outdoor air pollution and child health in urban slums of [...] Read more.
Exposure to air pollution is associated with adverse health outcomes. However, the health burden related to ambient outdoor air pollution in sub-Saharan Africa remains unclear. This study examined the relationship between exposure to outdoor air pollution and child health in urban slums of Nairobi, Kenya. We conducted a semi-ecological study among children under 5 years of age from two slum areas and exposure measurements of particulate matter (PM2.5) at the village level were aligned to data from a retrospective cohort study design. We used logistic and Poisson regression models to ascertain the associations between PM2.5 exposure level and child morbidity and mortality. Compared to those in low-pollution areas (PM2.5 < 25 µg/m3), children in high-pollution areas (PM2.5 ≥ 25 µg/m3) were at significantly higher risk for morbidity in general (odds ratio (OR) = 1.25, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.11–1.41) and, specifically, cough (OR = 1.38, 95% CI: 1.20–1.48). Exposure to high levels of pollution was associated with a high child mortality rate from all causes (IRR = 1.22, 95% CI: 1.08–1.39) and respiratory causes (IRR = 1.12, 95% CI: 0.88–1.42). The findings indicate that there are associated adverse health outcomes with air pollution in urban slums. Further research on air pollution health impact assessments in similar urban areas is required. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Air Pollution on Human Health)
Open AccessArticle
In-Cabin Vehicle Carbon Monoxide Concentrations under Different Ventilation Settings
Atmosphere 2018, 9(9), 338; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9090338 - 28 Aug 2018
Abstract
This paper explores the impact of choice of ventilation setting (“window open”, “new (external) air” and “recirculate”) on in-vehicle carbon monoxide exposures for commuters travelling by car at different times of the day (morning, midday, and evening) and different seasons (warm and cool) [...] Read more.
This paper explores the impact of choice of ventilation setting (“window open”, “new (external) air” and “recirculate”) on in-vehicle carbon monoxide exposures for commuters travelling by car at different times of the day (morning, midday, and evening) and different seasons (warm and cool) in Auckland, New Zealand. Three near-identical vehicles travelled in close proximity to each other on the same three “loops” out and into the city three times a day, each with a different ventilation setting. Concentrations of carbon monoxide were recorded using portable monitors placed inside each of the vehicles. The season was not found to be a significant factor. However, mean concentrations varied across ventilation settings by the time of day, typically peaking during the morning commute. The mean concentrations were significantly different between ventilation settings, with the recirculate setting found to result in a higher in-vehicle concentration than either new air or windows open but also heavily dependent on the initial in-vehicle concentration. However, this setting was the most effective at avoiding concentration spikes, especially when idling at intersections; an isolated peak event reaching 170 ppm was observed with the “new air” setting when following immediately behind an old, poorly-tuned, and visibly-emitting vehicle. This study suggests that having the windows open is the best setting for maintaining low in-cabin air pollution levels but that recirculate should be used in anticipation of congested conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Air Pollution on Human Health)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Modeling Wildfire Smoke Pollution by Integrating Land Use Regression and Remote Sensing Data: Regional Multi-Temporal Estimates for Public Health and Exposure Models
Atmosphere 2018, 9(9), 335; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9090335 - 27 Aug 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
To understand the health effects of wildfire smoke, it is important to accurately assess smoke exposure over space and time. Particulate matter (PM) is a predominant pollutant in wildfire smoke. In this study, we develop land-use regression (LUR) models to investigate the impact [...] Read more.
To understand the health effects of wildfire smoke, it is important to accurately assess smoke exposure over space and time. Particulate matter (PM) is a predominant pollutant in wildfire smoke. In this study, we develop land-use regression (LUR) models to investigate the impact that a cluster of wildfires in the northwest USA had on the level of PM in southern Alberta (Canada), in the summer of 2015. Univariate aerosol optical depth (AOD) and multivariate AOD-LUR models were used to estimate the level of PM2.5 in urban and rural areas. For epidemiological studies, it is also important to distinguish between wildfire-related PM2.5 and PM2.5 originating from other sources. We therefore subdivided the study period into three sub-periods: (1) Pre-fire, (2) during-fire, and (3) post-fire. We then developed separate models for each sub-period. With this approach, we were able to identify different predictors significantly associated with smoke-related PM2.5 verses PM2.5 of different origin. Leave-one-out cross-validation (LOOCV) was used to evaluate the models’ performance. Our results indicate that model predictors and model performance are highly related to the level of PM2.5, and the pollution source. The predictive ability of both uni- and multi-variate models were higher in the during-fire period than in the pre- and post-fire periods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Air Pollution on Human Health)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Online Questionnaire as a Tool to Assess Symptoms and Perceived Indoor Air Quality in a School Environment
Atmosphere 2018, 9(7), 270; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9070270 - 16 Jul 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
School environments are a complex entirety where various different exposure factors are related that contribute to the indoor air quality (IAQ) and may affect occupants’ health and well-being. Indoor air questionnaires are useful for collecting information about the occupants’ experiences and perceptions of [...] Read more.
School environments are a complex entirety where various different exposure factors are related that contribute to the indoor air quality (IAQ) and may affect occupants’ health and well-being. Indoor air questionnaires are useful for collecting information about the occupants’ experiences and perceptions of the indoor air and for evaluating the results of the measures taken. A common way to implement health questionnaires is to ask the respondents to describe symptoms at certain time points, such as weeks or months. The aim of our study was to develop a short and easy online questionnaire to assess symptoms and perceived IAQ. We also aimed to test the usability of the questionnaire in school buildings and assess the differences between the online measurement data (CO2, T, and RH) and the IAQ complaints and symptoms reported by the pupils. A total of 105 teachers and 1268 pupils in 36 classrooms at six schools answered the questionnaires over a two-week period. The participants completed the questionnaire always after the lesson in the studied classroom. We received 719 answers from the teachers and 6322 answers from the pupils. The results demonstrated that the teachers reported more IAQ problems and symptoms than the pupils did. Differences between classrooms were observed in both the IAQ problem and reference schools. The most common significant differences (p-value > 0.05) between the classrooms were among humidity, too cold air, and stuffy air, and among symptoms, dry/sore throat, tiredness, headache, and skin symptoms. Maximum values of CO2 measurements and the highest prevalence of stuffy air were relatively consistent. The testing process demonstrated that such a questionnaire was suitable for adults and children aged at least 12 years. The results of our study suggest that a quick and easy online questionnaire that is completed within a short period may be useful for gathering valuable knowledge about perceived IAQ. It could be used in combination with other indoor environment investigations to produce detailed results and restorative measures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Air Pollution on Human Health)
Open AccessArticle
Personal Exposure to PM2.5 in the Megacity of Mexico: A Multi-Mode Transport Study
Atmosphere 2018, 9(2), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9020057 - 09 Feb 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
Recurrent personal exposure to ambient PM2.5 is associated with adverse human health effects, in particular on the respiratory and cardiovascular systems. Here, we present an assessment of personal exposure and inhalation of PM2.5 for five modes of transport (walking, cycling, public [...] Read more.
Recurrent personal exposure to ambient PM2.5 is associated with adverse human health effects, in particular on the respiratory and cardiovascular systems. Here, we present an assessment of personal exposure and inhalation of PM2.5 for five modes of transport (walking, cycling, public bus (trolleybus and diesel bus), conventional car (CC) and hybrid-electric car (HEC)) and two routes of similar distance, along a major road in the Mexico City metropolitan area (MCMA). Arithmetic average exposure concentrations ranged from 16.5 ± 6.5 µg m−3 for walking to 81.7 ± 9.1 µg m−3 for cycling (henceforth shown as average ±1 SD), with no significant differences with geometric averages. The maximum exposure concentration of 110.9 µg m−3 was observed for the conventional car. The highest exposure concentrations depended on route and the mode of transport, being observed for cycling and walking. The PM2.5 measurements showed large spatial heterogeneity in the exposure levels for walking and cycling, while public buses and private transport showed less spatial heterogeneity. The greatest peaks in PM2.5 coincided with 4-way intersections for all modes of transport, being positively influenced by traffic density. The mass of PM2.5 inhaled depended mostly on the mode of transport, and ranged between 1.0 ± 0.3 and 30.1 ± 14.2 µg km−1 for the HEC and bicycle, respectively. Local area PM2.5 increments identified as ‘residuals’ after subtraction of data recorded at the closest fixed monitoring site from exposure concentrations along the studied road suggested that inhalation for bicycle and diesel buses is strongly influenced by vehicular emissions. Residuals estimated for the trolleybus, CC and HEC confirmed a lower inhalation than for the other modes of transport evaluated due to protection by the cabin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Air Pollution on Human Health)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview
Ambient PM2.5 Human Health Effects—Findings in China and Research Directions
Atmosphere 2018, 9(11), 424; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9110424 - 30 Oct 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Air Pollution on Human Health)
Open AccessReview
Sources of Airborne Endotoxins in Ambient Air and Exposure of Nearby Communities—A Review
Atmosphere 2018, 9(10), 375; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9100375 - 26 Sep 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
Endotoxin is a bioaerosol component that is known to cause respiratory effects in exposed populations. To date, most research focused on occupational exposure, whilst much less is known about the impact of emissions from industrial operations on downwind endotoxin concentrations. A review of [...] Read more.
Endotoxin is a bioaerosol component that is known to cause respiratory effects in exposed populations. To date, most research focused on occupational exposure, whilst much less is known about the impact of emissions from industrial operations on downwind endotoxin concentrations. A review of the literature was undertaken, identifying studies that reported endotoxin concentrations in both ambient environments and around sources with high endotoxin emissions. Ambient endotoxin concentrations in both rural and urban areas are generally below 10 endotoxin units (EU) m−3; however, around significant sources such as compost facilities, farms, and wastewater treatment plants, endotoxin concentrations regularly exceeded 100 EU m−3. However, this is affected by a range of factors including sampling approach, equipment, and duration. Reported downwind measurements of endotoxin demonstrate that endotoxin concentrations can remain above upwind concentrations. The evaluation of reported data is complicated due to a wide range of different parameters including sampling approaches, temperature, and site activity, demonstrating the need for a standardised methodology and improved guidance. Thorough characterisation of ambient endotoxin levels and modelling of endotoxin from pollution sources is needed to help inform future policy and support a robust health-based risk assessment process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Air Pollution on Human Health)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Traffic-Related Particulate Matter and Cardiometabolic Syndrome: A Review
Atmosphere 2018, 9(9), 336; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9090336 - 27 Aug 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Traffic-related particulate matter (PM) is a major source of outdoor air pollution worldwide. It has been recently hypothesized to cause cardiometabolic syndrome, including cardiovascular dysfunction, obesity, and diabetes. The environmental and toxicological factors involved in the processes, and the detailed mechanisms remain to [...] Read more.
Traffic-related particulate matter (PM) is a major source of outdoor air pollution worldwide. It has been recently hypothesized to cause cardiometabolic syndrome, including cardiovascular dysfunction, obesity, and diabetes. The environmental and toxicological factors involved in the processes, and the detailed mechanisms remain to be explored. The objective of this study is to assess the current scientific evidence of traffic-related PM-induced cardiometabolic syndrome. We conducted a literature review by searching the keywords of “traffic related air pollution”, “particulate matter”, “human health”, and “metabolic syndrome” from 1980 to 2018. This resulted in 25 independent research studies for the final review. Both epidemiological and toxicological findings reveal consistent correlations between traffic-related PM exposure and the measured cardiometabolic health endpoints. Smaller sizes of PM, particularly ultrafine particles, are shown to be more harmful due to their greater concentrations, reactive compositions, longer lung retention, and bioavailability. The active components in traffic-related PM could be attributed to metals, black carbon, elemental carbon, polyaromatic hydrocarbons, and diesel exhaust particles. Existing evidence points out that the development of cardiometabolic symptoms can occur through chronic systemic inflammation and increased oxidative stress. The elderly (especially for women), children, genetically susceptible individuals, and people with pre-existing conditions are identified as vulnerable groups. To advance the characterization of the potential health risks of traffic-related PM, additional research is needed to investigate the detailed chemical compositions of PM constituents, atmospheric transformations, and the mode of action to induce adverse health effects. Furthermore, we recommend that future studies could explore the roles of genetic and epigenetic factors in influencing cardiometabolic health outcomes by integrating multi-omics approaches (e.g., genomics, epigenomics, and transcriptomics) to provide a comprehensive assessment of biological perturbations caused by traffic-related PM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Air Pollution on Human Health)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
A Review of Airborne Particulate Matter Effects on Young Children’s Respiratory Symptoms and Diseases
Atmosphere 2018, 9(4), 150; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9040150 - 16 Apr 2018
Cited by 6
Abstract
Exposure to airborne fine particulate matter (PM2.5) carries substantial health risks, particularly for younger children (0–10 years). Epidemiological evidence indicates that children are more susceptible to PM health effects than adults. We conducted a literature review to obtain an overview of [...] Read more.
Exposure to airborne fine particulate matter (PM2.5) carries substantial health risks, particularly for younger children (0–10 years). Epidemiological evidence indicates that children are more susceptible to PM health effects than adults. We conducted a literature review to obtain an overview of existing knowledge regarding the correlation of exposure to short- and long-term PM concentrations with respiratory symptoms and disease in children. A collection of scientific papers and topical reviews were selected in cooperation with two experienced paediatricians. The literature review was performed using the keywords “air pollution”, “particulate matter”, “children’s health” and “respiratory” from 1950 to 2016, searching the databases of Scopus, Google Scholar, Web of Science, and PubMed. The search provided 45,191 studies for consideration. Following the application of eligibility criteria and experts’ best judgment to titles and abstracts, 28 independent studies were deemed relevant for further detailed review and knowledge extraction. The results showed that most studies focused mainly on the effect of short-term exposure in children, and the reported associations were relatively homogeneous amongst the studies. Most of the respiratory diseases observed in outdoor studies were related to changes in lung function and exacerbation of asthma symptoms. Allergic reactions were frequently reported in indoor studies. Asthma exacerbation, severe respiratory symptoms and moderate airway obstruction on spirometry were also observed in children due to various sources of indoor pollution in households and schools. Mixed indoor and outdoor studies indicate frequent occurrence of wheezing and deterioration of lung function. There is good evidence of the adverse effect of short-term exposure to PM on children’s respiratory health. In terms of long-term exposure, fine particles (PM0.1–PM2.5) represent a higher risk factor than coarse particles (PM2.5–PM10). Additional research is required to better understand the heterogeneous sources and the association of PM and adverse children’s health outcomes. We recommend long-term cooperation between air quality specialists, paediatricians, epidemiologists, and parents in order to improve the knowledge of PM effects on young children’s respiratory health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Air Pollution on Human Health)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop