Ultrafine Particles

Introduction

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


Effects

Absorption and Distribution

Biomarkers

Risk Assessment

Works Cited


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Human Health Effects of Ultrafine Particles

The potential human health impacts from exposure to UFP’s is somewhat restricted to respiratory-related illnesses. This is largely due to the size of UFP’s (relative to their mass) and their ability to deposit deeply into the lung where the residence time can be up to several months (Donaldson et al., 1998; WHO, 1997). People suffering from asthma, and from cardiovascular diseases have been identified to be especially sensitive to air pollution (Palmgren et al., 2003). In epidemiological studies conducted over the past ten years a very consistent quantitative picture has emerged between the levels of air pollution (especially fine fraction particles) and increases in morbidity and mortality Palmgren et al., 2003).

Diseases related to UFP exposure primarily relate to lung cancer and heart disease. However, another type of pathology that may be effected by UFP’s is Crohn’s disease and the epithelium of the gut. These particles are exogenous particles, such as titanium dioxide, which is used as a whitening agent in food and pharmaceuticals. Endogenous particles produced by metabolism, such as calcium phosphate, may also play a role in Crohn’s disease (Lomer et al., 2002).