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Temperature inversions cause restricted air flow, leading to a buildup of air pollution below the inversion cap. This accumulation often leads to levels exceeding air quality standards. Recent studies have shown that some types of inflammatory cells in the respiratory system respond to exposure to air pollution. The cellular response includes a statistically significant increase in the number of cells or the relative proportion of specific cells. We investigate whether these inflammatory cells exhibit a response on temperature inversion days, when the air pollution levels are enhanced. We identify temperature inversions with vertical profiles from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS). The study area is the Hamilton Census Metropolitan Area, Ontario, Canada.
Date of Conference: 25-30 July 2010