Study of Potential Health Damage Caused by Ultrafine Particles in Megacities Using a Pulmonary Deposition Model


The deposition of ultrafine particles, in the human respiratory tract, from four highly impacted megacities across the globe, was evaluated by using a pulmonary deposition model. It was found that, for the locations studied, an average of 62% of atmospheric particles was retained in the respiratory system. As expected, the model shows that smaller particles penetrate deeper in the airways. In addition, it’s shown that children are more susceptible than adults, retaining 8% more ultrafine particles.

Share and Cite:

Almeida, D. , Martins, J. , Vidotto, L. and Martins, L. (2015) Study of Potential Health Damage Caused by Ultrafine Particles in Megacities Using a Pulmonary Deposition Model. Journal of Geoscience and Environment Protection, 3, 67-71. doi: 10.4236/gep.2015.36011.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Arbex, M.A., de Paula Santos, U., Martins, L. C., Saldiva, P.H.N., Pereira, L.A.A. and Braga, A.L.F. (2012) A Polui??o do Ar e o Sistema Respiratório. Jornal Brasileiro de Pneumologia, 38, 643-655.
[2] World Health Organization (2006) Air Quality Guide-lines: Global Uptade 2005.
[3] Obers?rster, G., Obers?rster, E. and Obers?rster, J. (2005) Nanotoxicology: An Emerging Discipline Evolving from Studies of Ultrafine Particles. Environmental Health Perspectives, 113, 823-839.
[4] Sioutas, C., Delfino, R.J. and Singh, M. (2005) Exposure Assessment for Atmospheric Ultrafine Particles (UFPs) and Implications in Epidemiologic Research. Environmental Health Perspectives, 113, 947-955.
[5] Asgharian, B. and Price, O.T. (2007) Deposition of Ultrafine (NANO) Particles in the Human Lung. Inhalation Toxicology, 19, 1045-1054.
[6] Baldasano, J.M., Valera, E. and Jimenéz, P. (2002) Air Quality Data from Large Cities. The Science of the Total Environment.
[7] Moreira, H.M. and Giometti, A.B.R. (2008) Protocolo de Quioto e as possibilidades de inser??o do Brasil no Mecanismo de Desenvolvimento limpo por meio de projetos em energia limpa.Contexto Internacional, 30.
[8] Zhu, Y., Hinds, W.C., Kim, S. and Sioutas, C. (2002) Concentration and Size Distribution of Ultrafine Particles near a Major Hightway. Journal of the Air and Waste Man-agement Association, 52, 1032-1042.
[9] Matthew J. Dunn, M.J., Jiménez, J.L., Baumgardner, D., Castro, T., McMurry, P.H. and Smith, J.N. (2004) Measurements of Mexico City Nanoparticle Size Distributions: Observations of New Particle Formation and Growth. Geophysical Research Letters, 31, L10102.
[10] Verma, M.K., Chauhan, L.K.L., Sultana, S. and Kumar, S. (2011) The Traffic Linked Urban Ambientair Superfine and Ultrafine PM1 Mass Concentration, Contents of Pro-Oxidant Chemicals, and Their Seasonal Drifts in Lucknow, India. Atmospheric Pollution Research, 5.
[11] Brito, J., Rizzo, L.V., Herckes, P., Vasconcellos, P.C., Caume, S.E.S., Fornaro, A., Ynoue, R.Y., Artaxo, P. andAndrade, M.F. (2013) Physical-Chemical Characterization of the Particulate Matter inside Two Road Tunnels in the S?o Paulo Metropolitan Area. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 13, 12199-12213.
[12] Calderón-Garcidue?as, L. and Torres-Jardón, R. (2012) Air Pollution, Socioeconomic Status, and Children’s Cognition in Megacities: The Mexico City Scenario. Frontiers in Psychology, 3, 217.
[13] Whiting, N. (2014) Air Pollution: 10 Countries with the World’s Dirtiest air. ABC News.
[14] CENSUS (2011) Lucknow City Census 2011 Data.
[15] IBGE—Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística (2014) Sala de imprensa: Estimativas Populacionais dos Municípios.
[16] DETRAN—Departamento Estadual De Transito De S?o Paulo (2013) Frota de Veículos.
[17] Andrade, M.F., Miranda, R.M., Fornaro, A., Kerr, A., Oyama, B., De Andrade, P.A. and Saldiva., P.H.N. (2010) Vehicle Emissions and PM2.5 Mass Concentraton in Six Brazilian Cities. Air Quality, Atmosphere & Health, 13, 79- 88.
[18] Asgharian, B., Hofmann, W. and Bergmann, R. (2001) Particle Deposition in a Multiple-Path Model of the Human Lung. Aerosol Science and Technology, 34, 332-339.
[19] Martins, L.D., Martins, J.A., Freitas, E.D., Mazzaroli, C.R., Gon?alves, L.T., Ynoue, R.Y., Hallak, R., Albuquerque, T.T.A., de Fatima Andrade, M. (2010) Potential Health Impact of Ultrafine Particles under Clean and Polluted Urban Atmospheric Conditions: A Model-Based Study. Air Quality Atmospheric Health, 3, 29-39.
[20] De Winter-Sorkina, R. and Cassee, F.R. (2002) From Concentration to Dose: Factors Influencing Airborne Particulate Matter Deposition in Humans and Rats. National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, RIVM, Projeto 650010, the Netherlands.
[21] Scheuch, G., Kohlhaeufl, M.J., Brand, P. and Siekmeier, R. (2006) Clinical Perspectives on Pulmonary Systemic and Macromolecular Delivery. Ad-vanced Drug Delivery Reviews, 58, 996-1008.

Copyright © 2022 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.