Arterial blood pressure responses to short-term exposure to fine and ultrafine particles from indoor sources – A randomized sham-controlled exposure study of healthy volunteers

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Particulate air pollution is linked to adverse cardiovascular effects. The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of short-term exposure to indoor particles on blood pressure (BP).


We analyzed the association of particle emissions from indoor sources (candle burning, toasting bread, frying sausages) with BP changes in 54 healthy volunteers in a randomized cross-over controlled exposure study. Particle mass concentration (PMC), size-specific particle number concentration (PNC) and lung-deposited particle surface area concentration (PSC) were measured during the 2 h exposure. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure were measured before, during, directly, 2, 4 and 24 h after exposure. We performed multiple mixed linear regression analyses of different particle metrics and BP.


BP significantly increased with increasing PMC, PSC and PNC resulting from toasting bread. For example, an increase per 10 μg/m3 PM10 and PM2.5, systolic BP increased at all time points with largest changes 1 h after exposure initiation of 1.5 mmHg (95%-CI: 1.1; 1.9) and of 2.2 mmHg (95%-CI: 1.3; 3.1), respectively.


Our study suggests an association of short-term exposure to fine and ultrafine particles emitted from toasting bread with increases in BP. Particles emitted from frying sausages and candle burning did not consistently affect BP.

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