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Int J Environ Health Res. 2012;22(2):119-33. doi: 10.1080/09603123.2011.605878. Epub 2011 Aug 19.

Associations between size-segregated particle number concentrations and respiratory mortality in Beijing, China.

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  • 1Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Core Facility-Studies, Leipzig, Germany.


Numerous studies have described the adverse associations between particle mass and respiratory health. The aim of the study was to analyze the associations of particle properties, especially size-segregated particle number concentrations (PNC), and respiratory mortality in Beijing, P.R. China. We gathered daily values of respiratory mortality and air pollution data of the Beijing urban area. Generalized additive models were used to estimate the associations. Single pollutant models showed that delayed concentrations of SO(2), total PNCs, and PNC of 300-1000 nm were adversely associated with total respiratory mortality. There was an indication that adverse health effects of PNCs might be stronger for stagnant air masses. Two-pollutant models verified the independence of associations of total PNCs of other pollutants (SO(2), NO(2), and PM(10)). In conclusion, particle number concentrations, especially accumulation mode particles, might be factors influencing the adverse associations between particulate matter and respiratory health.

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