Airborne particulate matter and its organic components: Complex triggers of human disease

Chao Zhao, Zongwei Cai

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


As a critical indicator of air pollution, airborne particulate matter (PM) has complicated components, source, and toxicology. The chemical components of PM are responsible for various undesirable effects on natural environment and human health. In addition to elemental and organic carbon, heavy metals, and biological compounds, PM also contains organic toxicants such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), bisphenols, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). These have strong toxic effect, persistence, and are widely distributed by continuous bioaccumulation and bio-magnification. Therefore, the study of the organic composition of PM is vital for evaluating its potential for causing respiratory disease, metabolic disease, hormonal disruption, and even cancer. This chapter focuses on the organic composition of PM including distribution characteristics, quantitative methodology, and toxicological mechanisms through in vitro and in vivo studies. Among the various diseases, PM-induced metabolic diseases are complex and substantial. The variation of metabolic molecules is potentially clinically relevant as the essential evidence of PM-induced adverse health effects.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAir Pollution, Climate, and Health
Subtitle of host publicationAn Integrated Perspective on Their Interactions
EditorsMeng Gao, Zifa Wang, Gregory Carmichael
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9780128201237
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Medicine(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Airborne particulate matter
  • Bisphenols
  • Lung cancer
  • Mass spectrometry imaging
  • Metabolomics
  • Neurodegenerative diseases
  • Persistent organic pollutants
  • Proteomics


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