16 / CME: Health, Work and Environment
Adverse Health Effects of Find Particles

24 – 25 September 2007   print this page

Course directors:

Jasminka Godnic Cvar, University of Vienna, Austria
Jadranka Mustajbegović, University of Zagreb, Croatia
Petar Bulat, University of Arts, Belgrade, Serbia

Course description:

The issue of fine particles and their adverse effects at the occupational and environmental setting are the topic of this workshop. A relationship between increased ambient air pollution (in particular ultrafine particles) and adverse health effects: asthma exacerbations, increased respiratory symptoms, decreased lung function, increased medication and increased hospital admissions related to cardio-respiratory diseases have already been shown. Ultra fine particles (UFP), less than 100 nanometers in diameter, predominantly emerge from industrial (welding- and metal-smoke, technical carbon-particulate emissions, amorphous silica acid) and traffic emissions. UFP participate with more than 80% in the number and surface of the total dust, but contribute only with a few percent to its mass. This high particle number and reactive surface of UFP seem to be responsible for their adverse effects Following mechanisms of adverse health effects of UFP have been demonstrated: 1. at the airway level - inflammation with a subsequent release of chemical mediators and cytokines and 2. at the systemic level - proliferativ, inflammatory, fibrotic, thrombotic, genotoxic, cancerogenic, and furthermore adjuvant - diesel particles enhance and/or intensity sensitization to common allergens .The present knowledge on these adverse health effects of UFP is derived from studies in cell cultures, animal models, and in humans. However, the adverse health effects of UFP in an occupational setting have not been evaluated thoroughly since. In this workshop the issue of fine and UFP in the occupational setting and in the environment will be addressed. Adverse health effects and possible preventive measures on both levels will be presented.