Impacts of exposure to black carbon, elemental carbon, and ultrafine particles from indoor and outdoor sources on blood pressure in adults: A review of epidemiological evidence

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid



Ambient particulate air pollution is known to have detrimental effects on cardiovascular health but less is known about the specific effects of black carbon or elemental carbon (BC/EC) and ultrafine particles (UFP).


We present a narrative review of the epidemiological evidence related to the impact of exposure to BC/EC and UFP on blood pressure in adults. We searched PubMed and EMBASE in September 2017, using a predefined search strategy. Abstracts were screened using predefined inclusion criteria. Data collection was completed using a standard data extraction form. We focused on main effect estimates for associations between short (≤7 days) and long-term exposures to BC/EC and UFP and systolic (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP). Effect estimates were rescaled to enable direct comparisons between studies.


Thirty publications were included in the review: 19 studies examined outdoor exposure to BC/EC, 11 examined outdoor UFP, three studies examined indoor BC and one study examined indoor UFP. In general, existing evidence supports a positive association between BC/EC and blood pressure. Evidence for outdoor UFP exposures were less clear as effect estimates were small in magnitude and confidence intervals often included the null.


Existing evidence supports a positive association between BC/EC and blood pressure in adults, whereas UFPs do not appear to have a meaningful impact on blood pressure.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles