Respiratory disease and particulate air pollution in Santiago Chile: contribution of erosion particles from fine sediments

Environ Pollut. 2014 Apr;187:202-5. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2013.12.028. Epub 2014 Jan 31.


Air pollution in Santiago is a serious problem every winter, causing thousands of cases of breathing problems within the population. With more than 6 million people and almost two million vehicles, this large city receives rainfall only during winters. Depending on the frequency of storms, statistics show that every time it rains, air quality improves for a couple of days, followed by extreme levels of air pollution. Current regulations focus mostly on PM10 and PM2.5, due to its strong influence on respiratory diseases. Though more than 50% of the ambient PM10s in Santiago is represented by soil particles, most of the efforts have been focused on the remaining 50%, i.e. particulate material originating from fossil and wood fuel combustion, among others. This document emphasizes the need for the creation of erosion/sediment control regulations in Chile, to decrease respiratory diseases on Chilean polluted cities.

Keywords: Air pollution; Erosion; PM10; Santiago; Sedimentation.

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants / analysis*
  • Air Pollution / statistics & numerical data*
  • Chile / epidemiology
  • Cities / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Particulate Matter / analysis*
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Seasons


  • Air Pollutants
  • Particulate Matter