Particulate matter and infant mortality: A narrative review


Authors: Jenniffer T Graffam, Anthony La, Ifeoluwa Afon, Uyioghosa Idahor, Tolulope Oladimeji, Mitchell Kerry, and Emmanuel O Keku
Page Range: 7-14
Published in: International Public Health Journal, 15#1 (2023)
ISSN: 1947-4989

Table of Contents


Air pollution, specifically particulate matter (PM), is a current public health concern due to its significant impact on human health. Two kinds of particulate matter are present in the atmosphere: PM10 and PM2.5. The most health damaging is PM2.5 since it can penetrate the lung barrier and enter the blood system causing cardiovascular and respiratory diseases as well as cancers if there is chronic exposure. Diverse studies have researched the effects of PM and its association with infant mortality. The purpose of this narrative review is to evaluate the literature concerning PM and infant mortality to establish the need for stricter environmental policies in countries where PM concentration exceeds the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines. A collection of articles between 2008 and 2020 concerning PM and infant mortality were selected using databases including Google Scholar, Medline, PubMed, and ScienceDirect, in addition to public databases such as the WHO and the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Articles that considered air pollutants other than PM were excluded and the analysis of the data was done to propose future recommendations. Different studies conclude that PM2.5 is associated with infant mortality on a global scale. In fact, anthropogenic PM2.5 is significantly more detrimental than natural PM2.5, so it is recommended that the WHO lowers the limit of PM2.5 in the air from 10 μg m-3.

Keywords: Particulate matter, infant mortality, PM2.5 concentration, air pollutants.

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