Vehicular Emissions and Cardiovascular Disease
Exposure to traffic-related air pollution is a ubiquitous, daily occurrence throughout the world. Evidence is emerging that implicates a causal role for traffic-related contaminants in promoting the incidence of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Our current understanding of the relationships between vehicular emissions and public health is muddled by the complexities of the combustion mixture chemistry, pathological mechanisms, and exposure dynamics. Controlled clinical and toxicological exposure studies have observed adverse cardiovascular effects from diesel and gasoline engine emissions. These effects include endothelial dysfunction, electrocardiographic abnormalities, and vascular inflammation and oxidative stress. The contribution of causal components or the potential interactions among the gases and particulates in vehicular emissions has not been clearly delineated. This chapter discusses recent work studying the impact of vehicular pollution on cardiovascular health.