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Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2016 Jun;128:67-74. doi: 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2016.01.030. Epub 2016 Feb 19.

The health effects of ambient PM2.5 and potential mechanisms.

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The School of Public Health, University of South China, Hengyang 421001, China. Electronic address:
The School of Public Health, University of South China, Hengyang 421001, China.
The State Key Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510640, China. Electronic address:


The impacts of ambient PM2.5 on public health have become great concerns worldwide, especially in the developing countries. Epidemiological and toxicological studies have shown that PM2.5 does not only induce cardiopulmonary disorders and/or impairments, but also contributes to a variety of other adverse health effects, such as driving the initiation and progression of diabetes mellitus and eliciting adverse birth outcomes. Of note, recent findings have demonstrated that PM2.5 may still pose a hazard to public health even at very low levels (far below national standards) of exposure. The proposed underlying mechanisms whereby PM2.5 causes adverse effects to public health include inducing intracellular oxidative stress, mutagenicity/genotoxicity and inflammatory responses. The present review aims to provide an brief overview of new insights into the molecular mechanisms linking ambient PM2.5 exposure and health effects, which were explored with new technologies in recent years.


Genotoxicity; Health effect; Inflammation; Oxidative stress; PM(2.5)

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