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Why is Particulate Matter Produced by Wildfires Toxic To Lung Macrophages?

A paper published in the December 2011 issue of Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, explores the dangers of particulate matter produced by wildfires. 


  • Coarse PM from wildfires is more cytotoxic to macrophages than “normal” coarse PM from ambient air at equivalent doses by mass.
  • Exposure of cultured macrophages containing a reporter gene to wildfire coarse PM demonstrates activation of the NF–kB pathway.
  • These studies demonstrate that oxidative stress is the major contributing mechanism to macrophage killing by wildfire coarse PM in vitro and in vivo.
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