Exposure to concentrated ambient particles (CAPs): a review

Inhal Toxicol. 2004 Jan;16(1):53-9. doi: 10.1080/08958370490258390.


Epidemiologic studies support a participation of fine particulate matter (PM) with a diameter of 0.1 to 2.5 microm in the effects of air pollution particles on human health. The ambient fine particle concentrator is a recently developed technology that can enrich the mass of ambient fine particles in real time with little modification. The advantages of concentrators are that the particles produced are "real world" and they allow exposure at pertinent masses. Limitations include variability in both particle mass and composition and some uncertainty over the best statistical approach to analyze the data. Cumulative evidence provided by the body of initial investigation shows that exposures to concentrated ambient particles (CAPs) can be accomplished safely in both humans and animals. Human investigation using the CAPs has shown acute lung inflammation and changes in both blood indices and heart rate variability. Animal studies support a potential pulmonary inflammation, blood changes, alterations of specific cardiac endpoints, and an increased susceptibility of specific models. These studies have helped establish the causal relationship between find particle exposure and adverse health effects in the lung and cardiovascular system. In addition, it appears that specific components in CAPS may differentially affect these tissues.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants / chemistry
  • Air Pollutants / toxicity*
  • Air Pollution / adverse effects*
  • Air Pollution / analysis
  • Animals
  • Atmosphere Exposure Chambers
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chemical Phenomena
  • Chemistry, Physical
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Research Design


  • Air Pollutants