Cardiovascular Consequences of Particles
Increases in the concentration of fine particles in the air are associated with increases in mortality. The excess deaths are attributable to both cardiovascular and respiratory causes. The association has been observed in many cities worldwide; and perhaps most remarkably, remains strong at low particle concentrations previously thought to be without adverse health effects. Although the mechanisms by which particulate pollution induces health effects at such low mass concentrations remain unclear, considerable evidence has accrued focusing on the role of oxidative stress. Determining the biological mechanisms involved has been identified as a high-priority research need in the United States (1) and other countries. As suggested by the word cardiovascular, this chapter will explore hypotheses and evidence linking particle exposure with both cardiac and vascular dysfunction and disease.