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Health effects of ambient air pollution – recent research development and contemporary methodological challenges

Cizao Ren12* and Shilu Tong1

Author Affiliations

1 School of Public Health and Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove, QLD 4059, Australia

2 Harvard School of Public Health, Exposure, Epidemiology and Risk Program, Landmark Center West, Suite 415, 401 Park Dr, Boston, MA 02215, USA

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Environmental Health 2008, 7:56  doi:10.1186/1476-069X-7-56

Published: 6 November 2008


Exposure to high levels of air pollution can cause a variety of adverse health outcomes. Air quality in developed countries has been generally improved over the last three decades. However, many recent epidemiological studies have consistently shown positive associations between low-level exposure to air pollution and health outcomes. Thus, adverse health effects of air pollution, even at relatively low levels, remain a public concern. This paper aims to provide an overview of recent research development and contemporary methodological challenges in this field and to identify future research directions for air pollution epidemiological studies.