The Epidemiology of Particle Health Effects
Trying to describe the epidemiologic associations between inhaled particles and adverse health is a daunting task, which I will mostly duck, by referring to such comprehensive reviews as the U.S. EPA Air Quality Criteria Document for Particles. Necessarily, in a short chapter, I will need to be selective. In keeping with the general tone of the book, I will select pulmonary effects as one of my foci, but given the extensive literature on cardiovascular effects of particles (1,2), which presumably occur because either particles or signals leave the lung and enter systemic circulation (3-5), I will also touch on some topics related to those outcomes. Lastly, since the major concern about airborne particles derives from their association with mortality, I will discuss recent findings about that as well.