Skip Navigation

Atmospheric Aerosol


:: Section 7

Health Effects of Atmospheric Aerosol

  Section Contents

II. PM-Related diseases

Inhalation of particulate matters (PMs) in the atmosphere can directly or indirectly lead to or deteriorate various symptoms/diseases. They include asthma, hay fever, increased respiratory symptoms, pulmonary inflammation, reduced lung function, and cardiovascular diseases. Recent evidence suggests that small PMs may be related to increased lung cancer risk. It is also suggested that long-term exposures to PMs have larger and more persistent cumulative effects than short-term exposures.

The following graph shows that increased PM concentrations in the atmosphere are associated with an increased mortality.

Estimated adjusted rate ratios for total mortality and PM2.5 levels in the Six Cities Study by period. P = Portage, WI; T = Topeka, KS; W = Watertown, MA; L = St. Louis, MO; H = Harriman, TN; S = Steubenville, OH. Period 1 = 1974–1989; Period 2 = 1990–1998.