Wednesday, February 11, 2009

California wildfires of 2008:coarse and fine particulate matter toxicity

Source: Environmental Health Perspectives, Online 9 Feb 2009
"Background: During the last week of June in 2008, Central and Northern California experienced thousands of forest and brush fires, giving rise to a week of severe fire- related particulate air pollution throughout the region. California experienced PM10-2.5 (coarse) and PM2.5 (fine) concentrations greatly in excess of the air quality standards and among the highest values reported at these stations since data have been collected. Results: Concentrations of PM were not only higher during the wildfire episodes, but the PM was much more toxic to the lung on an equal weight basis than was PM collected from normal ambient air in the region. Toxicity was manifested as increased neutrophils and protein in lung lavage, and by histological indicators of increased cell influx and edema in the lung."