Protecting human health from air pollution: shifting from a single-pollutant to a multipollutant approach

Epidemiology. 2010 Mar;21(2):187-94. doi: 10.1097/EDE.0b013e3181cc86e8.


To date, the assessment of public health consequences of air pollution has largely focused on a single-pollutant approach aimed at estimating the increased risk of adverse health outcomes associated with the exposure to a single air pollutant, adjusted for the exposure to other air pollutants. However, air masses always contain many pollutants in differing amounts, depending on the types of emission sources and atmospheric conditions. Because humans are simultaneously exposed to a complex mixture of air pollutants, many organizations have encouraged moving towards "a multipollutant approach to air quality." Although there is general agreement that multipollutant approaches are desirable, the challenges of implementing them are vast.

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants / adverse effects*
  • Air Pollution / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Air Pollution / prevention & control*
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects
  • Environmental Exposure / analysis
  • Environmental Exposure / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Environmental Exposure / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Particulate Matter / adverse effects
  • Particulate Matter / analysis
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • United States
  • United States Environmental Protection Agency


  • Air Pollutants
  • Particulate Matter