Do Airborne Particles Induce Heritable Mutations?

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Science  14 May 2004:
Vol. 304, Issue 5673, pp. 971-972
DOI: 10.1126/science.1097441

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Air pollution is associated with an increased risk of lung cancer and has other adverse health effects. In their Perspective, Samet, DeMarini, and Malling discuss new findings ( Somers et al.) showing that particulate air pollution can induce presumptive mutations in the germline cells of male mice that can be passed on to the next generation. The germline mutation rate was reduced by about 50% if the mice were exposed to air cleansed of particulate matter by passage through a HEPA filter.