Arterial Blood Pressure Responses to Short-Term Exposure to Fine and Ultrafine Particles From Indoor Sources - A Randomized Sham-Controlled Exposure Study of Healthy Volunteers

Environ Res. 2017 Oct;158:225-232. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2017.06.006. Epub 2017 Jul 3.


Objectives: Particulate air pollution is linked to adverse cardiovascular effects. The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of short-term exposure to indoor particles on blood pressure (BP).

Methods: We analyzed the association of particle emissions from indoor sources (candle burning, toasting bread, frying sausages) with BP changes in 54 healthy volunteers in a randomized cross-over controlled exposure study. Particle mass concentration (PMC), size-specific particle number concentration (PNC) and lung-deposited particle surface area concentration (PSC) were measured during the 2h exposure. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure were measured before, during, directly, 2, 4 and 24h after exposure. We performed multiple mixed linear regression analyses of different particle metrics and BP.

Results: BP significantly increased with increasing PMC, PSC and PNC resulting from toasting bread. For example, an increase per 10µg/m3 PM10 and PM2.5, systolic BP increased at all time points with largest changes 1h after exposure initiation of 1.5mmHg (95%-CI: 1.1; 1.9) and of 2.2mmHg (95%-CI: 1.3; 3.1), respectively.

Conclusions: Our study suggests an association of short-term exposure to fine and ultrafine particles emitted from toasting bread with increases in BP. Particles emitted from frying sausages and candle burning did not consistently affect BP.

Keywords: Blood pressure; Controlled exposure, particle characterization; Fine and ultrafine indoor particles; Indoor air pollution.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Air Pollutants / analysis*
  • Air Pollution, Indoor / analysis*
  • Blood Pressure*
  • Cooking
  • Environmental Exposure*
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Europe
  • Female
  • Healthy Volunteers
  • Humans
  • Lung
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Particle Size
  • Particulate Matter / analysis*
  • Young Adult


  • Air Pollutants
  • Particulate Matter