Effects on cardiovascular and respiratory systems of…

Effects on cardiovascular and respiratory systems of short-term exposures to ultrafine particles in air, near an airport, in healthy subjects
2021-01-02 17:27:00
There is a growing body of research into the negative health impacts of very tiny particulate air pollution. The nanoparticles of ≤20 nm are produced by vehicle engines, but seem to be produced in considerable amounts by jet engine. A new study in the Netherlands looked at impacts on the respiratory and cardiovascular systems of 21 healthy young (18 – 35), non-smoking volunteers. They were exposed between 2 and 5 times to 5 hour periods of the ambient air near Schiphol airport, while doing intermittent moderate exercise like cycling. Various aspects of their circulation and respiration were measured. The study found the exposures  were associated with decreased FVC (forced vital capacity – a measure of lung function) and prolonged QTc intervals (the time it takes the heart to re-polarise for the next beat).The effects were relatively small, but they appeared after single exposures of 5 h in young healthy adults. “As this study cannot make any inferences about long-term health impacts, appropriate studies investigating potential health effects of long-term exposure to airport-related UFP, are urgently needed.” .Tweet     Effects of short-term exposures to ultrafine particles near an airport in healthy subjects Author links open overlay panelA.LammersaN.A.H.JanssenbA.J.F.BoerebM.BergeraC.LongoaS.J.H.VijverbergaA.H.NeerincxaA.H.Maitland – van der ZeeaF.R.Casseebc   Share Cite https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2020.105779Get rights and content Highlights • 21 volunteers were exposed for 5 h to ultrafine particles (UFP) next to an airport. • Exposures were associated with decreased FVC and prolonged QTc intervals. • These effects were associated with particles ≤20 nm (mainly UFP from aviation). • UFP >50 nm (mainly from road traffic) were associated with increased blood pressure. • Investigation of the impact of long-term exposure to airport-related UFP is needed. Abstract [FVC is  “forced vital capacity” which is a measure of lung function. QTc means the time it takes heart cells to repolarise – so a measure of the time between heart beats]. Background Recent studies reported elevated concentrations of ultrafine particles (UFP) near airports. Little is known about the health effects of UFP from aviation. Since UFP can deposit deep into the lungs and other organs, they may cause significant adverse health effects. Objective We investigated health effects of controlled short-term human exposure to UFP near a major airport. Methods In this study, 21 healthy non-smoking volunteers (age range: 18–35 years) were repeatedly (2–5 visits) exposed for 5 h to ambient air near Schiphol Airport, while performing intermittent moderate exercise (i.e. cycling). Pre- to post-exposure changes in cardiopulmonary outcomes (spirometry, forced exhaled nitric oxide, electrocardiography and blood pressure) were assessed and related to total- and size-specific particle number concentrations (PNC), using linear mixed effect models. Results The PNC [particle number concentration] was on average 53,500 particles/cm3 (range 10,500–173,200). A 5–95th percentile increase in exposure to UFP (i.e. 125,400 particles/cm3) was associated with a decrease in FVC of −73.8 mL (95% CI −138.8 – −0.4) and a prolongation of the corrected QT (QTc) interval by 9.9 ms (95% CI 2.0 – 19.1). These effects were associated with particles 


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