Ultrafine Particles


Characteristics of Ultrafine Particles

Transport and Fate in the Environment

Measuring Exposure

Exposure Pathways

Prevention or Control of Exposures

Human Health Effects of Ultrafine Particles


Absorption and Distribution


Risk Assessment

Works Cited

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Exposure Pathways

The primary pathway for exposure is through the respiratory tract (Figure #3). However, these particles can also a concern when they are consumed as a part of our food intake (as coloring and anti-caking agents) (Lomer et al., 2002). The particles deposit within the lung cavity and reportedly have a lengthy residence time of up to several months (WHO, 1997).

Figure #3 - Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety

One of the more insidious exposures to UFP’s comes in the form of a smoking tobacco habit which helps to carry UFP’s in concentrated masses deep into the lung cavity.

Figure #4 – Phillip Morris Tobacco Add targeting smokers in the 12 to 15 year old age group. Philip Morris Tobacco Company, Circa 1955.

The relationship between lung cancer and heart disease is well documented. The use of tobacco has been socially acceptable for several centuries, however, it was not until recently that policy and legal actions have been taken to reduce the number of tobacco consumers in an effort to control a widespread public health dilemma.