Medpage Today’s Todd Neale reports that “airborne fine particulate matter appear to be associated with an increased risk of cerebrovascular events”. Airborne particulate matter can be hazardous due to its chemical reactivity as well as its relatively small size (less than 2.5mm) which allows for it to “penetrate airways and alveoli and enter the circulation”. Neale (2008) reports:
“Although the magnitude of increased risk for stroke/[transient ischemic attack]
because of [particulate matter] exposure was relatively small,” the researchers
said, “most of the public is exposed to ambient air pollution at the levels
observed in this community or greater every day, suggesting a potentially large
public health impact.”
The authors of the study share that more research needs to be conducted, and that the study this study would be best used to generate hypotheses.