In urban areas, the diesel-fuelled and bio-fuelled vehicles represent the major sources of nanoparticles complemented by nanotechnology with different types of particles, in addition to natural and to other anthropogenic sources. The atmospheric nanoparticles differ in composition, size, shape or oxidant capacity, presenting a large variability that causes difficulties in their measurements and health impact identification. The oxidative stress can be initiated by atmospheric nanoparticles through different mechanisms: interaction between nanoparticles and tissue cells, cellular internalisation of nanoparticles, activation of signalling pathways, decrease of the cellular antioxidants, activation of the pro-inflammatory cascade, lipid peroxidation, activation of cellular signalling pathway that leads to apoptosis, etc. Ultrafine particles (<100 nm) represent ~80% of the total atmospheric particles and produce inflammation through oxidative stress mechanisms. The atmospheric nanoparticles can penetrate the skin and can be inhaled or ingested affecting different organs and leading to different diseases: neurodegeneration, thrombogenesis, atherosclerosis, asthma, lung cancer, heart arrest, etc.
Part of the book: Nanomaterials