Abstract: Despite promising environmental applications for nano zerovalent iron (nZVI), concerns remain about the potential accumulation and toxic effects of nZVI particles. Here, we use an alveolar-capillary co-culture model to investigate a possible link between low-level epithelial exposure to nZVI and pulmonary and cardiovascular toxicity. While nZVI was unable to pass through the epithelial barrier into the endothelium, nZVI exposure did cause oxidative and inflammatory responses in both epithelial and endothelial cells. Therefore, toxic effects induced by nZVI are not restricted to epithelial cells but can be transferred into the endothelium. Communication between A549 and EA.hy926 cells is responsible for amplification of nZVI-induced toxic responses. Decreases in transepithelial electrical resistance and zonula occludens proteins after epithelial exposure to nZVI impaired epithelial barrier integrity. Increases in oxidized α1-antitrypsin and oxidized low-density lipoprotein in the co-culture model suggest that nZVI exposure increases the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and atherosclerosis. Therefore, inhalation of nZVI has the potential to induce cardiovascular disease through oxidative and inflammatory mediators produced from the damaged lung epithelium in chronic lung diseases.