Cardiopulmonary Health Effects of Airborne Particulate Matter: Correlating Animal Toxicology to Human Epidemiology

Kent E. Pinkerton, Chao Yin Chen, Savannah M. Mack, Priya Upadhyay, Ching Wen Wu, Wanjun Yuan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The effects of particulate matter (PM) on cardiopulmonary health have been studied extensively over the past three decades. Particulate matter is the primary criteria air pollutant most commonly associated with adverse health effects on the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. The mechanisms by which PM exerts its effects are thought to be due to a variety of factors which may include, but are not limited to, concentration, duration of exposure, and age of exposed persons. Adverse effects of PM are strongly driven by their physicochemical properties, sites of deposition, and interactions with cells of the respiratory and cardiovascular systems. The direct translocation of particles, as well as neural and local inflammatory events, are primary drivers for the observed cardiopulmonary health effects. In this review, toxicological studies in animals, and clinical and epidemiological studies in humans are examined to demonstrate the importance of using all three approaches to better define potential mechanisms driving health outcomes upon exposure to airborne PM of diverse physicochemical compositions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalToxicologic Pathology
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019


  • cardiopulmonary
  • elderly individuals
  • fibrosis
  • heart rate variability
  • inflammation
  • neonates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Toxicology
  • Cell Biology


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