Fine particle components and health--a systematic review and meta-analysis of epidemiological time series studies of daily mortality and hospital admissions.


Journal Article (Review)

Short-term exposure to fine particle mass (PM) has been associated with adverse health effects, but little is known about the relative toxicity of particle components. We conducted a systematic review to quantify the associations between particle components and daily mortality and hospital admissions. Medline, Embase and Web of Knowledge were searched for time series studies of sulphate (SO4(2-)), nitrate (NO3(-)), elemental and organic carbon (EC and OC), particle number concentrations (PNC) and metals indexed to October 2013. A multi-stage sifting process identified eligible studies and effect estimates for meta-analysis. SO4(2-), NO3(-), EC and OC were positively associated with increased all-cause, cardiovascular and respiratory mortality, with the strongest associations observed for carbon: 1.30% (95% CI: 0.17%, 2.43%) increase in all-cause mortality per 1 μg/m(3). For PNC, the majority of associations were positive with confidence intervals that overlapped 0%. For metals, there were insufficient estimates for meta-analysis. There are important gaps in our knowledge of the health effects associated with short-term exposure to particle components, and the literature also lacks sufficient geographical coverage and analyses of cause-specific outcomes. The available evidence suggests, however, that both EC and secondary inorganic aerosols are associated with adverse health effects.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Atkinson, RW; Mills, IC; Walton, HA; Anderson, HR

Published Date

  • March 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 25 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 208 - 214

PubMed ID

  • 25227730

Pubmed Central ID

  • 25227730

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1559-064X

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1559-0631

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1038/jes.2014.63


  • eng