Urban Aerosol Toxicity: The Influence of Particle Size

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  22 Nov 1974:
Vol. 186, Issue 4165, pp. 695-699
DOI: 10.1126/science.186.4165.695


The basic thesis developed herein is that particle size is an extremely important parameter to consider when assessing the potential toxicity of species present in urban aerosols, and that surface adsorption or condensation greatly promotes toxicity. In the majority of cases this means that particles that are less than 1 µ.m in size are of primary importance. Special significance is attached to the organic constitutents of aerosols. Many of these are known or potential carcinogens and most predominate in extremely small particles which become deposited almost exclusively in the lung.