Inhalation of road dust by human subjects

T. Takishima, M. Nakamura, M. Sasaki, M. Miyano, M. Yamaya, H. Sasaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


We measured pneumomagnetic field strength (PMFS) in 42 healthy control subjects living in districts of Northern Japan with low levels of road dust pollution and in 39 healthy subjects living in areas with high levels of road dust pollution. Suspended road dust produced by studded tires increases from 30 μg/m3 during the summer season to levels as high as 400 μg/m3 during the snow season in the downtown areas of Sendai, Japan. Road dust retained in the lungs, containing 3% iron, was magnetized from the surface of the chest wall, and PMFS was measured. Three to 5 sequential PMFS measurements were made in each subject in March and October of 1984 and 1985, and in March 1986. The PMFS in control subjects in March 1984 was 37 ± 14 pico-Tesla (mean ± SD) and did not significantly differ from the PMFS in October 1984 or that in March 1985. In March 1984, the PMFS of the subjects in highly polluted areas was 95 ± 100 pico-Tesla (mean ± SD) and was significantly higher than that of control subjects (p < 0.01) and subsequently decreased in March 1985 and in March 1986, corresponding to a decrease in suspended road dust brought about by a campaign to eliminate the use of studded tires. Our findings suggest that some road dust caused by studded tires is retained in the lungs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1278-1280
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Review of Respiratory Disease
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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