Combustion-derived nanoparticles: mechanisms of pulmonary toxicity

Kelly BéruBé, Dominique Balharry, Keith Sexton, Lata Koshy, Tim Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


1. The general term 'nanoparticle' (NP) is used to define any particle less than 100 nm in at least one dimension and NPs are generally classified as natural, anthropogenic or engineered in origin. Anthropogenic, also referred to as 'ultrafine' particles (UFPs), are predominately combustion derived and are characterized by having an equivalent spherical diameter less than 100 nm. 2. These particles, considered to be 'combustion-derived nanoparticles' (CDNPs), are of toxicological interest given their nanosized dimensions, with properties not displayed by their macroscopic counterparts. 3. The pulmonary deposition efficiency of inhaled UFPs, along with their large surface areas and bound transition metals, is considered important in driving the emerging health effects linked to respiratory toxicity. 4. The toxicology of CDNPs is currently used to predict the health outcomes in humans following exposure to manufactured NPs. Their similar physicochemistry would suggest similar adverse health effects (i.e. pulmonary (and perhaps cardiac) toxicity). As such, it is essential to fully understand CDNP nanotoxicology in order to minimize occupational and environmental exposure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1044-50
Number of pages7
JournalClinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2007


  • Air Pollutants
  • Animals
  • Carbon
  • Coal Ash
  • Fires
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases
  • Nanoparticles
  • Particulate Matter
  • Soot


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