Special Issue "Effects of Exposure to Air Pollution on Respiratory Health"

A special issue of Toxics (ISSN 2305-6304). This special issue belongs to the section "Toxicology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Swapna Upadhyay
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
IMM: Institute of Environmental Medicine, Unit of Integrative Toxicology, Karolinska Institutet, SE-171 77 Stockholm, Sweden
Interests: acute and chronic lung disease (COPD); outdoor (particles and gaseous agents) and indoor (biomass smoke) air pollutants; occupational chemical exposure; E-cigarette exposure; AOP for respiratory disease: Advanced in vitro lung mucosa model to human translational approaches

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

The air we breathe has important consequences on our health and development. The respiratory system is a primary target of air pollution-mediated health effects. Ambient air pollution is an established cause of morbidity and mortality—like tobacco smoke. Even more than passive smoking, air pollution is not a lifestyle choice, but ubiquitous involuntary environmental exposure, which can affect the entire population, from womb to death. The enormous burden of disease due to air pollution is increasingly being considered by governments and institutions around the globe as a major public health concern. Respirable particulate matter (PM) has been regarded as a “criteria air pollutant”, along with carbon monoxide, ground level ozone, fine- and ultra-fine particulate matters, diesel/biodiesel particles, metal particles (lead, palladium, etc.), nitrogen dioxide, and sulphur dioxide. Globally, >8 million premature deaths are related to outdoor and indoor air-pollution. Low- and lower-middle income countries (LMICs) bear the maximum brunt of air pollution-related adverse health effects. The source of air pollution in LMICs is two pronged—outdoor and indoor air pollution. Rapid urbanization and industrialization, on the one hand (urban), with a lack of clean energy sources, leading to the use of biomass fuel for cooking and heating purposes (rural), happens simultaneously. A substantial body of epidemiological evidence indicates the association of chronic respiratory diseases like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) to ambient PM exposure. It is estimated that approximately 50% of COPD cases, the fourth leading cause of death globally, can be attributed to non-tobacco-related causes. It is plausible that the mechanism of air pollution-related COPD may be different from tobacco-smoke-mediated COPD. Thus, environmental and occupational causes COPD warrant more attention. Although several works of epidemiological evidence showing the association between exposure to air pollutants and various respiratory impairments do exist. However, details of the molecular mechanism leading to the onset of chronic respiratory (e.g., COPD) diseases remain unclear or under explored.

Therefore, in this Special Issue of Toxics will cover the most recent research on air pollution related respiratory diseases, namely:

  • Respiratory toxicity following exposure to air pollutants.
  • Outdoor and indoor air quality monitoring: special focus on LMIC.
  • Gender perspective air pollution (indoor and outdoor) mediated respiratory adverse outcome pathways.
  • Acute and repeated exposure to ambient gaseous and particulate matters using advanced/physiologically-relevant in vitro models.
  • Air pollutant and molecular pathogenesis for COPD onset: in vivo to human study.

Dr. Swapna Upadhyay
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • air pollutants
  • respiratory diseases
  • indoor and outdoor air pollution
  • respiratory diseases and AOP
  • air pollution and COPD

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Article
Inflammatory Biomarkers Interleukin 1 Beta (IL-1β) and Tumour Necrosis Factor Alpha (TNF-α) Are Differentially Elevated in Tobacco Smoke Associated COPD and Biomass Smoke Associated COPD
Toxics 2021, 9(4), 72; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics9040072 - 01 Apr 2021
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Abstract
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the leading cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide, is characterized by abnormal activation of inflammatory cells. The increased pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and interleukin 1 beta (IL-1β), further amplify the inflammation. We evaluated [...] Read more.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the leading cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide, is characterized by abnormal activation of inflammatory cells. The increased pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and interleukin 1 beta (IL-1β), further amplify the inflammation. We evaluated the dose response relationship of IL-1β and TNF-α levels and severity of airflow limitation, and differential responses in IL-1β and TNF-α between biomass COPD (BMS-COPD) and tobacco smoke COPD (TS-COPD) using a case control design in 160 subjects. Patients with COPD had higher serum levels of both IL-1β and TNF-α compared to healthy controls. A large difference in TNF-α was observed between TS-COPD and BMS-COPD, where TS-COPD patients had much higher levels. Serum IL-1β levels were higher in BMS-COPD. Levels of IL-1β correlated better with severity of airflow limitation than TNF-α levels. Both TNF-α and IL-1β levels had a negative linear relationship with Forced Expiratory Volume in 1st second (FEV1) and six-minute walk distance. The correlations were stronger with FEV1 than six-minute walk distance. The correlations of TNF-α and IL-1β with St George Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ) scores and body mass index (BMI) were not significant. In conclusion, the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF-α and IL-1β are differently elevated in TS-COPD and BMS-COPD, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Exposure to Air Pollution on Respiratory Health)
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Review

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Review
Adrenergic and Glucocorticoid Receptors in the Pulmonary Health Effects of Air Pollution
Toxics 2021, 9(6), 132; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics9060132 - 04 Jun 2021
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Abstract
Adrenergic receptors (ARs) and glucocorticoid receptors (GRs) are activated by circulating catecholamines and glucocorticoids, respectively. These receptors regulate the homeostasis of physiological processes with specificity via multiple receptor subtypes, wide tissue-specific distribution, and interactions with other receptors and signaling processes. Based on their [...] Read more.
Adrenergic receptors (ARs) and glucocorticoid receptors (GRs) are activated by circulating catecholamines and glucocorticoids, respectively. These receptors regulate the homeostasis of physiological processes with specificity via multiple receptor subtypes, wide tissue-specific distribution, and interactions with other receptors and signaling processes. Based on their physiological roles, ARs and GRs are widely manipulated therapeutically for chronic diseases. Although these receptors play key roles in inflammatory and cellular homeostatic processes, little research has addressed their involvement in the health effects of air pollution. We have recently demonstrated that ozone, a prototypic air pollutant, mediates pulmonary and systemic effects through the activation of these receptors. A single exposure to ozone induces the sympathetic–adrenal–medullary and hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axes, resulting in the release of epinephrine and corticosterone into the circulation. These hormones act as ligands for ARs and GRs. The roles of beta AR (βARs) and GRs in ozone-induced pulmonary injury and inflammation were confirmed in a number of studies using interventional approaches. Accordingly, the activation status of ARs and GRs is critical in mediating the health effects of inhaled irritants. In this paper, we review the cellular distribution and functions of ARs and GRs, their lung-specific localization, and their involvement in ozone-induced health effects, in order to capture attention for future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Exposure to Air Pollution on Respiratory Health)
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Other

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Systematic Review
Effect of Indoor Air Pollution on Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Deaths in Southern Asia—A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Toxics 2021, 9(4), 85; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics9040085 - 16 Apr 2021
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Abstract
Background: About half of the population in developing countries are exposed to indoor pollution such as combustion fuels at present. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is one of the leading causes of mortality globally and the primary cause of COPD in women is [...] Read more.
Background: About half of the population in developing countries are exposed to indoor pollution such as combustion fuels at present. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is one of the leading causes of mortality globally and the primary cause of COPD in women is indoor air pollution exposure, while tobacco smoking is the leading cause in men. The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis is to evaluate the correlation between the indoor air pollution and deaths related to COPD and COPD prevalence in South Asia. Methods: A systematic search on studies with sufficient statistical power has been conducted from 1985 until 30 June 2020, in English electronic databases following Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines in MEDLINE and PubMed databases with the terms Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary disease COPD or Chronic Bronchitis or Emphysema or COPD Deaths or Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease or Airflow Obstruction or Chronic Airflow Obstruction or Airflow Obstruction, Chronic or Bronchitis, Chronic and Mortality or Death or Deceased was conducted. Studies were eligible if they were Prospective controlled or non-controlled trials conducted in Southern Asia/ Asia and Retrospective studies conducted in Southern Asia/ Asia. Results: The results have concluded that long term exposure to indoor pollution had a significant effect on COPD deaths as well as its symptoms. Odd’s ratio was in a range of 1.05 (Randomized controlled trials) to 7.87 (Cross sectional studies) for all the studies mentioned. Meta-analysis observed a significantly higher Odds Ratio of 2.13 for COPD mortality and 2.08 for COPD prevalence on exposure to indoor air pollution. Conclusion: Exposure to solid fuel smoke is consistently and significantly correlated with COPD mortality and COPD prevalence in South Asian countries, in spite of heterogeneity observed in the studies included. For performing domestic tasks, initiatives are to be taken to reduce dependency on solid fuel by using cleaner alternatives or comparatively cleaner technology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Exposure to Air Pollution on Respiratory Health)
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Conference Report
Clinical, Epidemiological and Experimental Approaches to Assess Adverse Health Outcomes of Indoor Biomass Smoke Exposure: Conclusions from An Indo-Swedish Workshop in Mysuru, January 2020
Toxics 2020, 8(3), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics8030068 - 05 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1091
Abstract
This report summarizes the outcome of a workshop held in Mysuru, India in January 2020 addressing the adverse health effects of exposure to biomass smoke (BMS). The aim of the workshop was to identify uncertainties and gaps in knowledge and possible methods to [...] Read more.
This report summarizes the outcome of a workshop held in Mysuru, India in January 2020 addressing the adverse health effects of exposure to biomass smoke (BMS). The aim of the workshop was to identify uncertainties and gaps in knowledge and possible methods to address them in the Mysuru study on Determinants of Health in Rural Adults (MUDHRA) cohort. Specific aims were to discuss the possibility to improve and introduce new screening methods for exposure and effect, logistic limitations and other potential obstacles, and plausible strategies to overcome these in future studies. Field visits were included in the workshop prior to discussing these issues. The workshop concluded that multi-disciplinary approaches to perform: (a) indoor and personalized exposure assessment; (b) clinical and epidemiological field studies among children, adolescents, and adults; (c) controlled exposure experiments using physiologically relevant in vitro and in vivo models to understand molecular patho-mechanisms are warranted to dissect BMS-induced adverse health effects. It was perceived that assessment of dietary exposure (like phytochemical index) may serve as an important indicator for understanding potential protective mechanisms. Well trained field teams and close collaboration with the participating hospital were identified as the key requirements to successfully carry out the study objectives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Exposure to Air Pollution on Respiratory Health)
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