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Deadly effects of certain kinds of household air pollution lead to call for biomarker studies
Date:4/1/2013

iences, Athens, Ga.; Archana Patel, IMD, DNB, MSCEs, Professor and Head of the Department of Pediatrics, Indira Gandhi Government Medical College, Nagpur, India; John R. Balmes, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, San Francisco, Ca.; and Derek K. Rogalsky, Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, D.C.

Current approaches to HAP assessment, challenges

The researchers found that current HAP assessment tools include direct quantitative measurement of products of incomplete combustion, as well as qualitative methods (including use of questionnaires or the categorization of HAP exposure by type). However, direct exposure assessments via personal monitoring are problematic due to the size, portability and recording capacity of equipment, and acceptability to the user.

Despite the new devices currently being field tested and scaled up for commercial use to address these concerns, specific particulate measurement alone cannot differentiate between the multiple sources of pollution such as mixtures of HAP, tobacco smoke, and outdoor pollution. "The grand challenge to the research community is to produce simple and validated tests that better identify populations that are at risk from HAP, and individual responses to exposure reduction strategies," according to Dr. Martin.

The researchers also found that current HAP exposure measurement methods are expensive, technically challenging, difficult to use with large population studies, and have substantial limitations, making an urgent case for the development of biomarkers of both exposure and health effects. These findings have led to their call for studies into biomarkers of exposure and predictors of respiratory disease.

Martin and his colleagues note that further development of biomarkers of susceptibility and effect could facilitate large scale studies examining
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Contact: Donna Krupa
dkrupa@the-asp.org
American Physiological Society
Source:Eurekalert

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