In a new study, researchers found that in addition to harmful gases such as carbon monoxide, air pollution contains tiny particles may lead to health problems, including heart disease and asthma.
The research was conducted by a team of Chinese scientists.
Most studies have analyzed the potential health effects of larger-sized particulate matter (PM), such as particles less than 2.5 μm in diameter (PM2.5).
In the study, the researchers report that particles with diameters less than 1 μm (PM1) are even more strongly correlated with heart disease.
To better understand air pollution, a nationwide PM1 monitoring campaign was recently performed in China.
The team analyzed the data, which came from 65 Chinese cities, to determine if PM1 exposure correlated with the number of non-accidental deaths in each city during the same time period.
They found that for every 10 μg/m3 increase in PM1, there was a 0.29% increased risk of cardiovascular disease, which was 21% higher than the risk related to PM2.5 (0.24%).
The finer PM1 could more easily deposit in the lungs and circulation than larger particles, which might explain the increased health risks.
One author of the study is Zhaomin Dong.
The study is published in Environmental Science & Technology Letters.
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