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PM2.5 Particulates

Volume 448: debated on Wednesday 28 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment has been made of the health effects of PM2.5 particulates, with particular reference to (a) respiratory and (b) cardiovascular health. (80420)

The committee on the medical effects of air pollutants (COMEAP) has recently published a report on air pollution and cardiovascular disease. This report focuses on particulate matter and, in so far as the available data permit, on particulate matter that is 2.5 micrometres or smaller in size (PM2.5). The comprehensive report can be found on COMEAP’s website at www.advisorybodies.doh.gov.uk/comeap/. No recent assessment of effects of PM2.5 on the respiratory system has been made. This will be addressed during COMEAP’s work on the quantification of effects of air pollutants on health. Work so far has focused on PM2.5 and effects on mortality. It seems that the majority of the effects reported in the literature reflect the effect of particles on the cardiovascular system.