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Epidemiological research has estimated that hundreds of thousands of people die every year due to inhalation exposure to particles in the western world. A large fraction of air pollution is transnational, but local sources, such as traffic, are significant for the exposures to combustion particles. Recent evidence suggests that the toxicity of these particles may be significantly higher than that of other particle fractions. Therefore, we analyse personal exposures to, and toxicity and health effects of ultrafine and fine particles. Similarly we study airborne particles of different composition and from different sources.
To increase the accuracy and specificity of exposure assessment, we develop personal sampling and source apportionment techniques for airborne particles and relate these to cardiovascular health effects in time series studies. We also study the mechanisms of toxicity of the different particle fractions.
Progress in these areas is utilised in pollution-source specific risk analysis and in comparing alternative risk management policies. Air pollution is an international phenomenon, and thus also our air pollution research is based on extensive international collaboration.