Health Effects of Asian Dust Events: A Literature Review Update of Epidemiological Evidence

Hideki Hasunuma, Takamichi Ichinose, Kayo Ueda, Hiroshi Odajima, Kumiko Kanatani, Atsushi Shimizu, Akinori Takami, Ayano Takeuchi, Yuji Nishiwaki, Masanari Watanabe, Masahiro Hashizume

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Asian dust is a phenomenon involving the long-range transport of atmospheric pollutants originating from the desert areas of China and Mongolia. In recent years, the health effects of Asian dust have raised public concerns. Numerous studies on the health effects of Asian dust have been published since the last review in 2010. Thus, a literature review was conducted to shed light on the latest epidemiologic findings. PubMed and Science Direct databases were used for the review of epidemiologic studies published between June 2009 and April 2018. We identified 53 epidemiologic studies. Mortality, ambulance transportation, hospitalization/medical examination, changes in symptomatic, functional, and examination findings, as well as birth outcomes have been reported as outcomes. When the outcomes were categorized by disease, the effects of Asian dust on respiratory, cardiovascular, and allergic diseases raised concerns. The common evidences of causation between Asian dust and these diseases were the consistency of findings and temporal sequence of association. As results of research on dose-response relationships have become available, and the possibility that the health effects of Asian dust may vary depending on its chemical composition has been pointed out, further research using the exposure level indicators of Asian dust or its chemical composition should be conducted. Furthermore, with focus on the crucial issue of reducing exposure, research related to prevention and raising awareness should be further promoted.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNihon eiseigaku zasshi. Japanese journal of hygiene
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Asian dust
  • epidemiology
  • health effect
  • literature review
  • yellow sand

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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