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[en] The effect of fireworks on the aerosol number characteristics of atmosphere was studied for an urban mega city. Measurements were made at 50 m height to assess the local changes around the festival days. Apart from the increase in total number concentration and characteristic accumulation mode, short-term increase of ultrafine particle concentration was noted. Total number concentration varies an order of magnitude during the measurement period in which peak occurs at a frequency of approximately one per day. On integral scale, it seems not possible to distinguish an episodic (e.g. firework bursting induced aerosol emission) and a normal (ambient atmospheric changes) event. However these events could be differentiated on the basis of size evolution analysis around number concentration peaks. The results are discussed relative to past studies and inferences are drawn towards aerosol signatures of firework bursting. The short-term burst in ultrafine particle concentration can pose an inhalation hazard. - Highlights: • Effect of firework emissions on atmospheric aerosol characteristics was studied. • Significant increase in ultrafine particle concentration was observed during firework bursting. • Size distribution evolution analysis of number concentration peaks has been performed. • Differential signatures of normal and episodic event were noted. - Notable increase in ultrafine particle concentration during firework bursting was seen. Normal and episodic event could be differentiated on the basis of size evolution analysis.
[en] Background: While there is some evidence that maternal exposure to ambient air pollution is associated with orofacial clefts in offspring, the epidemiologic studies have been largely equivocal. We evaluated whether maternal exposure to elevated county-level ambient fine particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter ≤2.5 µm (PM2.5) and ozone during early gestation was associated with a higher prevalence of orofacial clefts. Methods: Birth data consisting of 4.7 million births from 2001 to 2007 were obtained from National Birth Defects Prevention Network for four states — Arizona, Florida, New York (excluding New York City), and Texas. The air pollution exposure assessment for gestational weeks 5–10 was based on county-level average concentrations of PM2.5 and ozone data generated using a Bayesian fusion model available through CDC's Environmental Public Health Tracking Network. Two outcomes were analyzed separately: cleft lip with or without cleft palate, cleft palate alone. In logistic regression analyses, we adjusted for factors that were suspected confounders or modifiers of the association between the prevalence of orofacial clefts and air pollution, i.e., infant sex, race-ethnicity, maternal education, smoking status during pregnancy, whether this was mother's first baby, maternal age. Results: Each 10 µg/m3 increase in PM2.5 concentration was significantly associated with cleft palate alone (OR =1.43, 95% CI: 1.11–1.86). There was no significant association between PM2.5 concentration and cleft lip with or without cleft palate. No associations were observed between ozone exposure and the two outcomes of orofacial clefts. Conclusions: Our study suggests that PM2.5 significantly increased the risk of cleft palate alone, but did not change the incidence of cleft lip with or without palate. Ozone levels did not correlate with incidence of orofacial clefts. - Highlights: • This is a large study with about 4.7 million births and 7000 orofacial cleft cases. • PM2.5 significantly increased the risk of cleft palate alone. • PM2.5 did not change the incidence of cleft lip with or without palate. • Ozone levels did not correlate with incidence of orofacial clefts.
[en] We estimated PM2.5 concentrations using satellite data and population mortality values for cause-specific diseases and employed the integrated exposure–response model to obtain the associations between exposure and response. PM2.5 source apportionment data were then used to evaluate the excess mortality attributable to PM2.5 from different emission sources. In 2013, 1.07 million excess deaths were attributed to PM2.5 exposure in China. The potentially avoidable excess deaths would be 279 000, 459 000, 731 000 and 898 000 if the PM2.5 concentrations were reduced to meet WHO interim target (IT)-1 (35 μg m−3, also the Chinese standard), IT-2 (25 μg m−3), IT-3 (15 μg m−3) and the air quality guidelines (10 μg m−3), respectively, compared with concentrations experienced in 2013. There were 249 000 (95% CI: 115–337), 228 000 (95% CI: 105–309), 203 000 (95% CI: 94–274), 197 000 (95% CI: 91–266), and 193 000 (95% CI: 88–262) excess deaths attributed to PM2.5 from coal burning, vehicle emissions, industry-related emissions, dust and other sources in 2013, respectively. Coal burning was the main source of atmospheric PM2.5; it contributed the most to excess mortalities and the health effects were likely to have been conservatively estimated. Considerable health benefits could be achieved if more stringent ambient PM2.5 standards were achieved in China. (letter)
[en] There is compelling evidence that exposure to particulate matter (PM) is linked to lung tumorigenesis. However, there is not enough experimental evidence to support the specific mechanisms of PM2.5-induced DNA damage and cell cycle arrest in lung tumorigenesis. In this study, we investigated the toxic effects and molecular mechanisms of PM2.5 on bronchial epithelial (BEAS-2B) cells. PM2.5 exposure reduced cell viability and enhanced LDH activity. The cell growth curves of BEAS-2B cells decreased gradually with the increase in PM2.5 dosage. A significant increase in MDA content and a decrease in GSH-Px activity were observed. The generation of ROS was enhanced obviously, while apoptosis increased in BEAS-2B cells exposed to PM2.5 for 24 h. DNA damage was found to be more severe in the exposed groups compared with the control. For in-depth study, we have demonstrated that PM2.5 stimulated the activation of HER2/ErbB2 while significantly upregulating the expression of Ras/GADPH, p-BRAF/BRAF, p-MEK/MEK, p-ERK/ERK, and c-Myc/GADPH in a dose-dependent manner. In summary, we suggested that exposure to PM2.5 sustained the activation of HER2/ErbB2, which in turn promoted the activation of the Ras/Raf/MAPK pathway and the expression of the downstream target c-Myc. The overexpression of c-Myc may lead to G2/M arrest and aggravate the DNA damage and apoptosis in BEAS-2B after exposure to PM2.5.
[en] This study investigated particulate matter (PM) loading rates and concentrations in ambient air from naturally ventilated dairy barns and also the influences of pertinent meteorological factors, traffic, and animal activities on mass loading rates and mass concentrations. Generally, relationships between PM_2_._5 concentration and these parameters were significantly poorer than those between the PM loading rate and the same parameters. Although ambient air PM_2_._5 loading rates correlated well with PM_2_._5 emission rates, ambient air PM_2_._5 concentrations correlated poorly with PM_2_._5 concentrations in the barns. A comprehensive assessment of PM_2_._5 pollution in ambient air, therefore, requires both mass concentrations and mass loading rates. Emissions of PM_2_._5 correlated strongly and positively with wind speed, temperature, and solar radiation (R"2 = 0.84 to 0.99) and strongly but negatively with relative humidity (R"2 = 0.93). Animal activity exhibited only moderate effect on PM_2_._5 emissions, while traffic activity did not significantly affect PM_2_._5 emissions. - Highlights: • Sink PM_2_._5 loading rates correlate well with source PM_2_._5 emission rates. • Sink PM_2_._5 concentrations correlate poorly with source PM_2_._5 concentrations. • Mass loading rate complements mass concentration in appraising sink PM_2_._5 status. • PM_2_._5 emissions is dependent on wind speed, temp, solar strength, and RH. • Cow traffic activity affects PM_2_._5 emissions, while traffic activity does not. - Both PM mass loading rate and concentrations are required for comprehensive assessment of pollution potential of PM released into the atmosphere.
[en] Highlights: • Ti-5553 alloy were successfully synthesised by powder compact extrusion of elemental powder mixtures. • The microstructure and composition distribution of the as-extruded Ti-5553 alloy were homogeneous. • Discontinuous grain boundary α, acicular α, fine particle α, lath α and globular α were formed after heat treatment. • The heat treated alloys had higher strength and ductility.
[en] In this paper we studied the exposure to three size fractions of outdoor particulate matter (PM10, PM2.5, and PM1) collected in an area influenced by a cement plant. For that purpose, three groups of population were evaluated (children, adults and retired) in two seasons (summer and winter). Outdoor measured PM concentrations, as well as physiological parameters and activity patterns of the three groups of population were used as input data in two different models. The first one was an indoor air quality model, used to elucidate indoor PM concentrations in different microenvironments. The second one was a dosimetry model, used to evaluate the internal exposure and the distribution of the different PM fractions in the respiratory tract. Results from the indoor air quality model showed that special attention must be paid to the finest particles, since they penetrate indoors in a greater degree. Highest pulmonary doses for the three PM sizes were reported for retired people, being this a result of the high amount of time in outdoor environments exercising lightly. For children, the exposure was mainly influenced by the time they also spend outdoors, but in this case due to heavy intensity activities. It was noticed that deposition of fine particles was more significant in the pulmonary regions of children and retired people in comparison with adults, which has implications in the expected adverse health effects for those vulnerable groups of population. - Highlights: • PM deposition in the respiratory tract was evaluated for three population groups. • Activity patterns and different microenvironments were used in our calculation. • Outdoor activities are the main contributors to PM deposited mass. • Children experienced the highest deposition dose in the pulmonary region. • Retired registered the highest deposited mass in the respiratory tract as a whole.
[en] The enhancement of the charge neutrality due to the existence of fine particles is shown to occur generally under microgravity and in one-dimensional structures under gravity. As an application of the latter, the size and position of fine particle clouds relative to surrounding plasmas are determined under gravity. - Highlights: • In fine particle (dusty) plasmas, the charge neutrality is much enhanced by the existence of fine particles. • The enhancement of charge neutrality generally occurs under microgravity and gravity. • Structure of fine particle clouds under gravity is determined by applying the enhanced charge neutrality.