Scientists at Yale University School of Medicine have found that even a short period of exposure to ultrafine particulate matter (UFP) in common air pollution can trigger a non-fatal heart attack,media reported. The study, published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, is believed to be the first epidemiological study of the effects of ultrafine particle exposure and heart attacks using the number of particles exposed per hour, particle length and surface-to-surface concentrations.
The study looked at more than 5,898 non-fatal heart patients between 2005 and 2015. Data on ultrafine particulate matter of air pollution in individual heart attacks were compared and adjusted for a range of additional factors, such as long-term time trends, socio-economic conditions, and so on.
The researchers say the study ultimately confirms our long-held belief that tiny particles in air pollution can cause serious heart disease. Because of the small size of ultrafine particles, larger than the surface mass and the ability to penetrate cells into the blood system, they pose a health risk, especially in the first few hours after exposure.