Efficiency of log wood combustion affects the toxicological and chemical properties of emission particles

Maija Tapanainen (Corresponding Author), Pasi I. Jalava, Jorma Mäki-Paakkanen, Pasi Hakulinen, Heikki Lamberg, Jarno Ruusunen, Jarkko Tissari, Jorma Jokiniemi, Maija-Riitta Hirvonen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Context: Particulate matter (PM) has been identified as a major environmental pollutant causing severe health problems. Large amounts of the harmful particulate matter (PM) are emitted from residential wood combustion, but the toxicological properties of wood combustion particles are poorly known. Objective: To investigate chemical and consequent toxicological characteristics of PM1 emitted from different phases of batch combustion in four heating appliances. Materials and methods: Mouse RAW264.7 macrophages and human BEAS-2B bronchial epithelial cells were exposed for 24 h to different doses (15-300 µg/mL) of wood combustion particles. After the exposure, cytotoxicity, genotoxicity, production of the inflammatory mediators (TNF-a and MIP-2) and effects on the cell cycle were assessed. Furthermore, the detected toxicological responses were compared with the chemical composition of PM1 samples including PAHs, metals and ions. Results: All the wood combustion samples exerted high cytotoxicity, but only moderate inflammatory activity. The particles emitted from the inefficient phase of batch combustion in the sauna stove (SS) induced the most extensive cytotoxic and genotoxic responses in mammalian cells. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and other organic compounds in PM1 samples might have contributed to these effects. Instead, water-soluble metals seemed to participate in the cytotoxic responses triggered by the particles from more efficient batch combustion in the masonry heaters. Overall, the toxicological responses were decreased when the combustion phase was more efficient. Conclusion: Efficiency of batch combustion plays a significant role in the harmfulness of PM even under incomplete wood combustion processes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-355
JournalInhalation Toxicology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2012
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Chemical composition
  • cytotoxicity
  • genotoxicity
  • inflammation
  • particulate matter
  • wood combustion


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