Effects of fine particles on human health: Ineris contributes to Europe-wide study

Ineris recently participated in a European study coordinated by the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI, Switzerland) on sources of atmospheric fine particles (PM2.5) and their harmful effects on human health. The results of this study, published in the journal Nature (18 November 2020), draw a link between sources of fine particles and their oxidizing potential (OP) as an estimation of the capacity of PM2.5 to bring about harmful effects (oxidative stress) on the human body.

The study, which brought together ten partners from throughout Europe (Institut des Géosciences de l’Environnement – the IRD communal laboratory, the Université de Grenoble Alpes, Grenoble INP and the CNRS –, Ineris, The Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research – TNO, Université de Bern, Paul Scherrer Institute), aims to improve our understanding of the dangers posed by these particles.
The work undertaken demonstrated that particulate matter levels in metropolitan areas seem to present a high overall level of “oxidizing potential,” and are therefore likely more harmful than those in rural zones (thereby heightening the phenomenon of “oxidative stress”, which can lead to cell and tissue damage in the body). The study’s authors have suggested that in the future, oxidising potential could be adopted as an indicator to improve the identification and management of sources of atmospheric particulate matter responsible for impacting human health.

    For more information about the study:
    > https://www.psi.ch/fr/media/actualites-recherche/quelles-sont-les-particules-fines-les-plus-dangereuses-pour-la-sante
    > https://www.ird.fr/pollution-atmospherique-un-nouvel-indicateur-pour-mesurer-limpact-sanitaire

This contribution came about due to Ineris’ integrated expertise in the field of air quality

For the purposes of this study the Institute mobilised its expertise in the field of atmospheric chemistry, participating in the analysis of the chemical composition of particles. It also supplied certain data enabling the study to validate the air quality model linking sources of pollution to the oxidizing potential of their particles.
Particulate matter pollution is one of the Institute’s major areas of investigation in the field of air quality, particularly with regard to understanding sources of pollution through measurement and modelling, and the characterisation of the effects these particles have. For example, the Institute recently made various recommendations to the Central Laboratory for Monitoring Air Quality (LCSQA) on the preliminary work to be undertaken before assimilating oxidizing potential as an additional indicator to PM mass in its air quality monitoring procedures.

Références : K. R. Daellenbach, G. Uzu, J. Jiang, L.-E. Cassagnes, Z. Leni, A. Vlachou, G. Stefenelli, F. Canonaco, S. Weber, A. Segers, J. J. Kuenen, M. Schaap, O. Favez, A. Albinet, S. Aksoyoglu, J. Dommen, U. Baltensperger, M. Geiser, I. El Haddad, J.-L. Jaffrezo, A. S. H. Prévôt, Sources and chemistry of the harmful components in particulate air pollution, Nature, 18 novembre 2020. DOI : 10.1038/s41586-020-2902-8