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Am J Epidemiol. 2016 Sep 15;184(6):450-9. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwv343. Epub 2016 Sep 6.

Associations of Source-Specific Fine Particulate Matter With Emergency Department Visits in California.


While many studies have investigated the health effects associated with acute exposure to fine particulate matter (particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter less than or equal to 2.5 μm (PM2.5)), very few have considered the risks of specific sources of PM2.5 We used city-specific source apportionment in 8 major metropolitan areas in California from 2005-2009 to examine the associations of source-specific PM2.5 exposures from vehicular emissions, biomass burning, soil, and secondary nitrate and sulfate sources with emergency department visits (EDVs) for cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, including 7 subclasses. Using a case-crossover analysis, we observed associations of vehicular emissions with all cardiovascular EDVs (excess risk = 1.6%, 95% confidence interval: 0.9, 2.4 for an interquartile-range increment of 2.8 µg/m(3)) and with several subclasses of disease. In addition, vehicular emissions, biomass burning, and soil sources were associated with all respiratory EDVs and with EDVs for asthma. The soil source, which includes resuspended road dust, generated the highest risk estimate for asthma (excess risk = 4.5%, 95% confidence interval: 1.1, 8.0). Overall, our results provide additional evidence of the public health consequences of exposure to specific sources of PM2.5 and indicate that some sources of PM2.5 may pose higher risks than the overall PM2.5 mass.


PM2.5; biomass; cardiovascular disease; fine particulate matter; respiratory disease; soil; source apportionment; vehicular emissions

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