Health effects of outdoor air pollution. Part 2. Committee of the Environmental and Occupational Health Assembly of the American Thoracic Society

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1996 Feb;153(2):477-98. doi: 10.1164/ajrccm.153.2.8564086.


Although sources of airborne lead have been reduced over the last decade, particularly with the use of lead-free gasoline, there are still relatively high levels of lead contamination in soils and the residential housing stock built before the 1970s, which pose a risk for continued direct exposure through ingestion or airborne exposure if resuspended. Neurobehavioral effects, particularly as a result of early childhood exposures, have been documented, and, because of the way lead is stored in the body, late effects can become manifest during periods of high bone turnover (e.g., pregnancy, lactation, or hyperthyroidism). Late consequences not only relate to lead excretion affecting the fetus or newborn but also appear to be associated with hypertension in adults. Control of exposure in early life is an important component of appropriate preventive action.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants / adverse effects*
  • Animals
  • Carbon Monoxide / adverse effects*
  • Environmental Health
  • Humans
  • Lead / adverse effects*
  • Nitrogen Oxides / adverse effects*


  • Air Pollutants
  • Nitrogen Oxides
  • Lead
  • Carbon Monoxide