Particulate Matter Containing Environmentally Persistent Free Radicals and Adverse Infant Respiratory Health Effects: A Review


  • Jordy Saravia and Greg I. Lee contributed equally.

  • Contract Grant Sponsor: NIEHS. Contract Grant Numbers: R01ES015050 (to SAC), P42ES013648 (to BD and SAC).

    Contract Grant Sponsor: Louisiana Board of Regents. Contract Grant Number: LEQSF (2009-14)-GF-08 (to JS).

    Contract Grant Sponsor: NIAAA. Contract Grant Number: AA007577 (to GL).

  • The contents of this manuscript are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of NIH or the State of Louisiana.

Correspondence to: Stephania A Cormier.


The health impacts of airborne particulate matter (PM) are of global concern, and the direct implications to the development/exacerbation of lung disease are immediately obvious. Most studies to date have sought to understand mechanisms associated with PM exposure in adults/adult animal models; however, infants are also at significant risk for exposure. Infants are affected differently than adults due to drastic immaturities, both physiologically and immunologically, and it is becoming apparent that they represent a critically understudied population. Highlighting our work funded by the ONES award, in this review we argue the understated importance of utilizing infant models to truly understand the etiology of PM-induced predisposition to severe, persistent lung disease. We also touch upon various mechanisms of PM-mediated respiratory damage, with a focus on the emerging importance of environmentally persistent free radicals (EPFRs) ubiquitously present in combustion-derived PM. In conclusion, we briefly comment on strengths/challenges facing current PM research, while giving perspective on how we may address these challenges in the future. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J BiochemMol Toxicol 27:56-68, 2013; View this article online at DOI 10.1002/jbt.21465