Personal-Level Protective Actions Against Particulate Matter Air Pollution Exposure: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association.
Rajagopalan S., Brauer M., Bhatnagar A., Bhatt DL., Brook JR., Huang W., Münzel T., Newby D., Siegel J., Brook RD., American Heart Association Council on Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health; Council on Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology; Council on Clinical Cardiology; Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing; and Stroke Council None.
Since the publication of the last American Heart Association scientific statement on air pollution and cardiovascular disease in 2010, unequivocal evidence of the causal role of fine particulate matter air pollution (PM2.5, or particulate matter ≤2.5 μm in diameter) in cardiovascular disease has emerged. There is a compelling case to provide the public with practical personalized approaches to reduce the health effects of PM2.5. Such interventions would be applicable not only to individuals in heavily polluted countries, high-risk or susceptible individuals living in cleaner environments, and microenvironments with higher pollution exposures, but also to those traveling to locations with high levels of PM2.5. The overarching motivation for this document is to summarize the current evidence supporting personal-level strategies to prevent the adverse cardiovascular effects of PM2.5, guide the use of the most proven/viable approaches, obviate the use of ineffective measures, and avoid unwarranted interventions. The significance of this statement relates not only to the global importance of PM2.5, but also to its focus on the most tested interventions and viable approaches directed at particulate matter air pollution. The writing group sought to provide expert consensus opinions on personal-level measures recognizing the current uncertainty and limited evidence base for many interventions. In doing so, the writing group acknowledges that its intent is to assist other agencies charged with protecting public health, without minimizing the personal choice considerations of an individual who may decide to use these interventions in the face of ongoing air pollution exposure.