Personal Interventions for Reducing Exposure and Risk for Outdoor Air Pollution An Official American Thoracic Society Workshop Report

Robert J. Laumbach, Kevin R. Cromar, Gary Adamkiewicz, Christopher Carlsten, Wanyu R. Chan, Denis Charpin, Audrey de Nazelle, Francesco Forastiere, Jeffrey Goldstein, Sophie Gumy, William K. Hallman, Michael Jerrett, Howard M. Kipen, Cheryl S. Pirozzi, Barbara J. Polivka, Jared Radbel, Ronald E. Shaffer, Don D. Sin, Giovanni Viegi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Poor air quality affects the health and wellbeing of large populations around the globe. Although source controls are the most effective approaches for improving air quality and reducing health risks, individuals can also take actions to reduce their personal exposure by staying indoors, reducing physical activity, altering modes of transportation, filtering indoor air, and using respirators and other types of face masks. A synthesis of available evidence on the efficacy, effectiveness, and potential adverse effects or unintended consequences of personal interventions for air pollution is needed by clinicians to assist patients and the public in making informed decisions about use of these interventions. To address this need, the American Thoracic Society convened a workshop in May of 2018 to bring together a multidisciplinary group of international experts to review the current state of knowledge about personal interventions for air pollution and important considerations when helping patients and the general public to make decisions about how best to protect themselves. From these discussions, recommendations were made regarding when, where, how, and for whom to consider personal interventions. In addition to the efficacy and safety of the various interventions, the committee considered evidence regarding the identification of patients at greatest risk, the reliability of air quality indices, the communication challenges, and the ethical and equity considerations that arise when discussing personal interventions to reduce exposure and risk from outdoor air pollution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1435-1443
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of the American Thoracic Society
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • Air filtration
  • Air pollution
  • Exposure
  • Personal intervention
  • Respirators

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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