Environ Anal Health Toxicol.  2021 Mar;36(1):e2021005. 10.5620/eaht.2021005.

Publication trends in research on particulate matter and health impact over a 10-year period: 2009–2018

  • 1Division of Allergy and Respiratory Disease Research, Department of Chronic Disease Convergence Research, National Institute of Health, Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency, South Korea


Exposure to ambient particulate matter is a major health risk factor for numerous diseases, including those of the cardiovascular and respiratory varieties. The aim of this study was to estimate the latest global research activities regarding particulate matter and health impact. We performed a bibliometric analysis of this field’s scientific publication trends over a decade (2009–2018). Publications were retrieved from the Scopus and Web of Science databases using the search terms “particulate matter,” “fine particulate matter,” “health impact,” and their synonyms. The literature on health impact in the research fields of particulate matter (PM10) and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) trended to significantly increase over the decade in consideration. It appears to have been led by researchers of the United States and China. Worldwide research on particulate matter and health effects has focused primarily on respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. The precursors to and components of particulate matter (such as nitrogen dioxide, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, sulfur dioxide, and black carbon) were also popular research topics in this field. Research on children, older adults, and pregnant women, who are most vulnerable to the health effects of air pollution, has increased dramatically over the past 10 years. Our findings provide the information necessary to predict unmet research topics and future research needs.


air pollution; particulate matter; PM10; PM2.5; public health; publication trends
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