Toxicol Lett. 1996 Aug;86(2-3):169-76.  

Air pollutants and respiratory hypersensitivity

Devalia JL, Rusznak C, Wang J, Khair OA, Abdelaziz MM, Calderon MA, Davies RJ.

Department of Respiratory Medicine and Allergy, St. Bartholomew's Hospital, London, UK.

Epidemiological evidence suggests that an increase in liquid petroleum derived pollutants is associated with exacerbation of allergic airway disease, and that the effects of pollution may occur 1-2 days later. Laboratory based studies have demonstrated that the pollutants responsible for the adverse effects on respiratory health include nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulphur dioxide (SO2), ozone (O3) and respirable particulates (PM10). More recently, studies of asthmatic individuals exposed to O3, NO2 and a combination of NO2 and SO2 have indicated that these agents increase the airway responsiveness of these individuals to inhaled allergen, and that this effect may be maximal 24 h after exposure to the pollutants. Studies investigating the putative mechanisms underlying the effects of these pollutants suggest that exposure to these agents may lead to perturbation of the airway epithelium and release of pro-inflammatory mediators from the epithelial cells, which then influence the activity of inflammatory cells, such as eosinophils.

PMID: 8711769 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]