Published: 04 December 2014

Paper reveals that contaminated air may cause cardiovascular and respiratory disease

Common air particles include tobacco smoke, cement dust and pollen.

Collaborative research between the universities of Surrey, Edinburgh, Birmingham and King Abdulaziz finds that exposure to a high concentration of these contaminant elements can lead to human cardiovascular and respiratory disease.

Particles, policy, air quality and health’ reviews over 340 journal articles and technical reports spanning science and engineering disciplines such as atmospheric chemistry, aerosol science and health sciences.

The paper suggests possible policies and legislation to monitor ‘coarse’ (those below 10 micro meters in diameter), ‘fine’ (below 2.5 micro meters) and ‘ultrafine’ (less than 0.1 micro meters) particles, in order to minimise adverse health outcomes on the general public.

The work has been selected for the Royal Society of Chemistry’s ‘Chemistry in Climate Change’ collection, which hosts the ‘latest research at the cutting edge’ of science.

Dr Prashant Kumar, co-author from Surrey, said, “Air pollution has been responsible for over 3.2 million excess deaths in a single year. The issue over public health and the quality of air is therefore of paramount importance. Over the past two years, we’ve seen over 60 citations of our work and I’m thrilled that our article has been recognised by the Royal Society of Chemistry.”

You can download this paper free of charge until 20 December 2014:

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