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Health Effects Institute
2015 Annual Conference

May 3-5, 2015

Sheraton Philadelphia
Society Hill Hotel
Philadelphia, PA


Conference Registration Form pdf   

Contact Information      Hotel Accommodations
CONFERENCE PROGRAM (Updated March 24, 2015)     Printable Programpdf      Poster Presenterspdf  
Sunday, May 3
11:30 AM Lunch
1:00 PM Energy Choices

Chairs: Jared Cohon, Carnegie Mellon University and HEI Board of Directors, and Robert O’Keefe, Health Effects Institute

Attention to climate change worldwide and to air pollution in the developing world is growing. This session will present and discuss the major trends in energy use and the potential implications for health and climate. We will include domestic and global trends and energy actions to reduce emissions (e.g., from coal); the potential for reducing household pollution by moving households to advanced energy options (i.e., to electricity); and enhanced energy efficiency in the mobile and other sectors.

1:00 — Introduction (Robert O'Keefe)

1:10 — The Big Picture: An Overview of Energy Use and Supply (Sam Napolitano, United States Energy Information Administration)

1:40 — Hidden Costs of Energy (Maureen Cropper, University of Maryland and Resources for the Future)

2:20 — The Future for Global Household Energy Use (Kirk Smith, University of California-Berkeley)

2:50 — The Future of Vehicle Efficiency (Drew Kodjak, International Council for Clean Transportation)

3:20 — Facing the Major Challenges (Panel Discussion Led by Jared Cohon)

4:00 PM Break
4:15 PM Poster Session 1
6:00 PM Opening Reception and Dinner
8:00 PM Evening Speaker

John Wall, Vice President and Chief Technical Officer, Cummins, Inc

Monday, May 4
7:00 AM Breakfast
8:30 AM HEI Update

Chairs: David Eaton, University of Washington–Seattle and Chair of HEI Research Committee, and James Merchant, University of Iowa and Chair of HEI Review Committee

We will introduce members of the HEI scientific committees and briefly report on HEI's activities. Topics will include the introduction of the 2014 recipient of the Walter A. Rosenblith New Investigator Award and a report from the Special Committee on 21st Century Oil and Gas Development. A recently completed health outcomes study will also be featured along with comments from the HEI Review Committee.

8:30 — Introduction of the Committees (David Eaton and James Merchant)

8:45 — Presentation of the 2014 Walter A. Rosenblith New Investigator Award (David Eaton)

8:50 — Report on Progress in HEI's Scientific Activities (Rashid Shaikh, Health Effects Institute)

9:00 — Update on the HEI 21st Century Oil and Gas Project (Donna Vorhees, Health Effects Institute)

9:15 — The HEI Health Outcomes Program (James Merchant)

9:20 — Air Quality Improvements and Children's Respiratory Health (W James Gauderman, University of Southern California)

9:40 — Comments from the HEI Review Committee (Bert Brunekreef, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands)

9:50 — Discussion

10:00 AM Break
10:20 AM Findings of the HEI Diesel Epidemiology Project

Chair: Dan Greenbaum, Health Effects Institute

In 2013, HEI charged a multidisciplinary expert panel with the task of evaluating two recent epidemiologic studies of exposure to diesel exhaust and lung cancer for their potential use in quantitative risk assessment, in particular for the characterization of the exposure–response relationship. The first was a study of a large cohort of US nonmetal miners conducted by Debra Silverman of the National Cancer Institute and Michael Attfield of the National Institutes of Occupational Health and their colleagues. The second was the most recent study by Eric Garshick of the Veterans Administration Boston Healthcare System and his colleagues of a cohort of male workers employed in the unionized US trucking industry. This session will highlight key issues explored during in the Panel’s evaluation and will present the Panel’s full conclusions regarding use of these studies for quantitative risk assessment.

10:20 — Opening Comments (Dan Greenbaum)

10:25 — Project Approach and Framing (Katherine Walker, Health Effects Institute)

10:40 — Understanding the Potential Influence of Smoking, Radon, and Other Factors (Jonathan Levy, Boston University School of Public Health)

11:00 — Evaluation of the Historical Estimates of Exposure to Diesel Exhaust (Paul Demers, Occupational Cancer Research Center, Canada)

11:20 — Conclusions and Recommendations (Daniel Krewski, University of Ottawa, Canada, and Chair of the HEI Diesel Epidemiology Panel)

11:50 — Discussion and Questions

12:15 PM Lunch and Presentation

Chris Grundler, Director, Office of Transportation and Air Quality, United States Environmental Protection Agency

1:30 PM Poster Session 2
3:00 PM Break
3:20 PM NO2: New Insights on an Old Pollutant

Chairs: Mark Frampton, University of Rochester Medical Center, and Armistead Russell, Georgia Institute of Technology, both on HEI Review Committee

Nitrogen dioxide is derived from combustion sources, including on-road and off-road vehicles, and is among the pollutants for which the US Environmental Protection Agency has established National Ambient Air Quality Standards and the European Union has set limit values. This session will discuss current and future technologies aimed at controlling tailpipe emissions of NO2 and other oxides of nitrogen, and the challenges and successes in lowering NO2 concentrations in urban areas. Recent evidence on the effects of NO2 on organs other than the lung will also be presented.

3:20 — Is NO2 a Marker for Effects of Traffic Pollution or a Pollutant on Its Own? (Jennifer Peel, Colorado State University)

3:50 — Emission Control Systems for NOx and PM: Beyond the 2010 Standard (Sougato Chatterjee, Johnson Matthey)


4:20 — Successes and Challenges in Reducing Emissions and Ambient NO2 in High-Traffic Areas:

The California Experience (Robert Harley, University of California-Berkeley)
The Near-Road Environment in London (David Carslaw, King's College London, England)


5:00 — Questions and General Discussion

5:30 PM Free Evening
Tuesday, May 5
7:00 AM Breakfast
8:30 AM Air Pollution on Our Minds

Chairs: David Eaton, and Stephanie London, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and HEI Review Committee

Although effects of environmental toxicants on the brain have been known for a long time, studies of the effects of air pollution on the brain at different ages are relatively recent. This session will provide an overview of the mechanisms by which air pollutants may affect the brain and how to study them, what is known about possible developmental effects of exposure to air pollution during pregnancy and early childhood, and what neurodegenerative diseases may be associated with air pollution exposure in adults.

8:30 — Introduction (Stephanie London)

8:40 — Approaches to Studying Neurotoxic Effects of Environmental Pollutants (Tomás Guilarte, Columbia University)

9:10 — Neurotoxic Effects of Air Pollution in the Older Adult (Jennifer Weuve, Rush University)

9:40 — Neurotoxic Effects of Air Pollution in Early Life (Mònica Guxens, Center for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL), Barcelona, Spain)

10:10 — General Discussion

10:30 AM Break
11:00 AM Ultrafine Particles in a Multipollutant World

Chairs: Michael Brauer, University of British Columbia, Canada and HEI Review Committee, and Allen Robinson, Carnegie Mellon University and HEI Research Committee

The HEI Perspectives 3 (released in 2013) concluded that the scientific literature did not support strong conclusions about the independent effects of ambient ultrafine particles (UFPs) on human health. Limitations in study size and design, in measurement of exposure to UFPs, and in the analysis of UFP as an individual pollutant rather than as one component of the traffic pollutant mixture were the reasons behind the report’s conclusions. Recent studies have raised additional questions about the contributions to UFP exposure of nucleation events, airports, and other sources. This session draws lessons from a range of studies on UFPs for designing effective research strategies to evaluate the health effects associated with long-term UFP exposures.

11:00 — Introduction (Michael Brauer)

11:05 — The Potential of Mobile Monitoring Campaigns to Assess Long-Term Exposure to Ultrafine Particles (Gerard Hoek, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands)

11:30 — Contribution of Nucleation Events to Ultrafine Particle Exposures (Allen Robinson, Carnegie Mellon University)

11:55 AM — Lunch

1:00 PM — Ultrafine Particles Downwind of Los Angeles International Airport: Implications for Exposure Assessment (Neelakshi Hudda, Tufts University)

1:25 — Associations of Mortality with Long-Term Exposures to Fine and Ultrafine Particles (Bart Ostro, University of California-Davis)

1:50 — US Environmental Protection Agency’s Workshop on Ultrafine Particles: Summary and Next Steps (Beth Hassett-Sipple, US Environmental Protection Agency)

2:00 — Panel Discussion

2:30 PM Conference Adjourns
Please note that due to limited space, abstracts for posters are by invitation only. Contact HEI if you have any questions.
Contact Information

Robert Shavers
Health Effects Institute
101 Federal Street, Suite 500
Boston, MA 02110-1817, USA
Telephone: +1-617-488-2308
Fax: +1-617-488-2335
E-mail: rshavers@healtheffects.org

Please contact Robert Shavers at HEI for rates for US Government employees, graduate students, and post-doctoral fellows.

Hotel Accommodations
Sheraton Philadelphia Society Hill Hotel
One Dock Street (2nd and Walnut Streets)
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Phone: +1-215-238-6000
Hotel Reservations +1-888-627-7078

HEI’s special group rate is $199, plus tax, for single or double room. Please book your room by April 10, 2015. To book online click here, or call the hotel and mention Health Effects Institute to obtain the group rate.

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Last updated March 31, 2015