Cardiovascular impacts and micro-environmental exposure factors associated with continuous personal PM2.5 monitoring

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The US Environmental Protection Agency's (US EPA) Detroit Exposure and Aerosol Research Study (DEARS) has provided extensive data on human exposures to a wide variety of air pollutants and their impact on human health. Previous analyses in the DEARS revealed select cardiovascular (CV) health outcomes such as increase in heart rate (HR) associated with hourly based continuous personal fine particulate matter (PM2.5) exposures in this adult, non-smoking cohort. Examination of time activity diary (TAD), follow-up questionnaire (FQ) and the continuous PM2.5 personal monitoring data provided the means to more fully examine the impact of discreet human activity patterns on personal PM2.5 exposures and changes in CV outcomes. A total of 329 343 min-based PM2.5 personal measurements involving 50 participants indicated that ˜75% of these total events resulted in exposures <35 μg/m3. Cooking and car-related events accounted for nearly 10% of the hourly activities that were identified with observed peaks in personal PM2.5 exposures. In-residence cooking often resulted in some of the highest incidents of 1 min exposures (33.5-17.6 μg/m3), with average peaks for such events in excess of 209 μg/m3. PM2.5 exposure data from hourly based personal exposure activities (for example, cooking, cleaning and household products) were compared with daily CV data from the DEARS subject population. A total of 1300 hourly based lag risk estimates associated with changes in brachial artery diameter and flow-mediated dilatation (BAD and FMD, respectively), among others, were defined for this cohort. Findings indicate that environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) exposures resulted in significant HR changes between 3 and 7 h following the event, and exposure to smells resulted in increases in BAD on the order of 0.2-0.7 mm/μg/m3. Results demonstrate that personal exposures may be associated with several biological responses, sometimes varying in degree and direction in relation to the extent of the exposure.

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