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      Experimental Human Exposure to Air Pollutants Is Essential to Understand Adverse Health Effects

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          Abstract

          Air pollution has been found to cause significant global mortality, with 6.8 million excess deaths attributed to air pollution each year, and similarly large numbers of exacerbations of asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and cardiovascular diseases. Epidemiological research has identified associations, and experimental human exposure has provided critical information on dose–response relationships of adverse effects caused by controlled human exposure to individual pollutants. Human exposures further enable examination of the relationship of adverse effects such as symptoms and pulmonary function changes to presumed mechanisms of disease revealed through analysis of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid obtained from the lower respiratory tract. In this Perspective, we analyze the ethics of human exposure, the importance of the information gained, and the risks of such exposure. We find that these studies appear to have been done with proper approval of institutional review boards, were done with informed consent from the participants, and have rarely been associated with serious adverse events.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol
          Am. J. Respir. Cell Mol. Biol
          ajrcmb
          American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology
          American Thoracic Society
          1044-1549
          1535-4989
          November 2013
          November 2013
          : 49
          : 5
          : 691-696
          Affiliations
          [ 1 ]Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine, and
          [ 3 ]Division of Medical Ethics, Department of Population Health, New York University School of Medicine, New York, New York; and
          [ 2 ]Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California
          Author notes
          Correspondence and requests for reprints should be addressed to William N. Rom, M.D., M.P.H., Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, NYU Langone Medical Center, 550 1st Ave, Bellevue Chest Service Room 7N24, New York, NY 10016. E-mail: william.rom@ 123456med.nyu.edu
          Article
          PMC5455606 PMC5455606 5455606 2013-0253PS
          10.1165/rcmb.2013-0253PS
          5455606
          24024529
          Copyright © 2013 by the American Thoracic Society
          Page count
          Figures: 0, Tables: 0, Pages: 6
          Categories
          Perspective

          particulate matter, ozone, chamber studies

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