Special Session on Pulmonary and Neurological Health Impacts from Airborne Particulate Matter (II)

Yi-Hsueh Liao1,2,4,5,6, Wei-Liang Chen3,6, Chung-Ching Wang3,6, Ching-Huang Lai This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.4

1 Department of Family Medicine, Shuang Ho Hospital, Taipei Medical University, New Taipei City 23561, Taiwan
2 Division of Geriatric Medicine, Department of Family and Community Medicine, Tri-Service General Hospital, Taipei 11490, Taiwan
3 Division of Family Medicine, Department of Family and Community Medicine, Tri-Service General Hospital, Taipei 11490, Taiwan
4 School of Public Health, National Defense Medical Center, Taipei 11490, Taiwan
5 School of Medicine, Taipei Medical University, Taipei 11031, Taiwan
6 School of Medicine, National Defense Medical Center, Taipei 11490, Taiwan


Received: April 19, 2020
Revised: June 20, 2020
Accepted: July 2, 2020

 Copyright The Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are cited.

Download Citation: ||https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2020.04.0156  

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Cite this article:

Liao, Y.H., Chen, W.L., Wang, C.C. and Lai, C.H. (2020). Associations between Personal Exposure to Metals in Fine Particulate Matter and Autonomic Nervous System Dysfunction among Healthy Adults. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 20: 1842–1849. https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2020.04.0156


  • Exposure to metals in PM2.5 was associated with ANS dysfunction.
  • Significant changes in SDNN, r-MSSD levels were related to iron in PM2.5.
  • The SDNN levels were significantly positively related to gallium in PM2.5.


The impact of airborne particulate matter and its metal components on autonomic nervous system (ANS) dysfunction in healthy subjects remains unclear. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of personal exposure to airborne particulate matter on the ANS in young, healthy adults. This longitudinal study recruited 82 adults aged 20 to 35 years from districts A and B. District A had lower ambient PM2.5 levels than district B. Personal exposure to fine particulate matter and metals in PM2.5 was collected every two months. The heart rate variability (HRV) indices of each participant were measured three times. The relationship among the PM2.5 concentration, metals in PM2.5 and HRV level was investigated by a generalized estimating equation with an autoregression of order 1. The average age of the participants was 26.4 ± 3.6 years in district A and 21.9 ± 1.5 years in district B (< 0.001). After adjusting for covariables, significant changes in Log10 standard deviation of normal to normal (SDNN) intervals and Log10 square root of the mean of the sum of the squares of differences (r-MSSDs) were related to unit changes in Log10 iron in PM2.5 (β = –0.033, 95% CI = –0.060 to –0.0056, p < 0.05 and β = –0.041, 95% CI = –0.075 to –0.0076, < 0.05, respectively). The Log10 SDNN levels were significantly positively related to Log10 gallium in PM2.5 (β = 0.054, 95% CI = 0.0064 to 0.10, < 0.05). Exposure to heavy metals in airborne particulate matter was associated with ANS dysfunction.

Keywords: Particulate matter; Metals; Autonomic nervous system.


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Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 20 :1842 -1849 . https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2020.04.0156  

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