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Seasonal variations are also seen with increased effect of PM1 during the cold season. One reason for this disparity could be the lower concentrations of PM1 in southern regions, “which modifies its stronger effects” according to the researchers, who say the same effect is observed in PM2.5 and PM 2.5-10. Another reason could be that more of the PM1 came from mobile emissions in this region, which affects the death rates more.
In other words, the increased risk of CVD is 21% higher than the risk due to PM1 alone, with this level of increase in PM1 levels. The effect on stroke is an increase by 0.33% for each 10 μg/m3 increase in PM1. This is 24% and 30% higher than the effect due to PM2.5 and PM10. Inhaled PM
Inhaled PM is thought to reduce normal vascular function, to speed up arterial thickening, and to push up CVD rates. When it is PM1, this excess in risk increase is due to the increase in ease of deposition of the finer particles deep within the lungs and in the blood vessels, compared to the larger particles. Moreover, it has more toxins, metals, and organic compounds which are linked to lung and gene injury, and epigenetic changes.
PM1 originates from the emissions produced by combustion and from aerosols, and the ratio of PM1 to PM2.5 is over 0.70, a high figure when compared to the average ratio from other cities worldwide. The very high rate of industrial processes in China probably contribute to this altered ratio and push up the already high risk of CVD due to PM1 in air.
Other studies have suggested that PM can pass the blood brain barrier to act directly on the central nervous system. Both short-term and long-term exposure to PM1 has been associated with increased risk of death due to stroke, especially ischemic strokes. One systematic review reports a cumulative hazard ratio of 1.11 for stroke death with each 5 μg/m3 increase in PM2.5.
More research is essential to confirm the composition of PM1, to understand the true impact of PM on human health. However, the current findings indicate the immediate need to improve air quality in China, and to set up guidelines for PM1 control. Journal reference:
Higher risk of associated with smaller size-fractioned particulate matter. Peng Yin, Jianping Guo, Lijun Wang, Wenhong Fan, Feng Lu, Moning Guo, Silvia B. R. Moreno, Ying Wang, Hao Wang, Maigeng Zhou,and Zhaomin Dong. DOI: 10.1021/acs.estlett.9b00735
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