The health effects of traffic-related air pollution continues to be of public health interest, with highest exposures in urban settings and residences in proximity to busy roadways.
Following its well-cited 2010 critical review, in 2018 the HEI Board of Directors appointed an expert HEI panel to review the scientific literature on traffic-related air pollution and health (see list of members below). Much new science has been published since the 2010 review.
The overall objective is to systematically evaluate the epidemiological evidence regarding the associations between long–term exposure to traffic-related air pollution and selected adverse health outcomes. The Panel will draw conclusions about the confidence in the strength of the evidence, discuss strengths and limitations of the existing studies, and make recommendations for future research. Results will be quantitatively combined to evaluate the strength of the evidence, where appropriate. In addition, the quantitative results of the review may be useful for future risk and health impact assessments of traffic-related air pollution.
The Panel formulated criteria for selection of health outcomes in the review, including policy and public health relevance. Selected health outcomes include all-cause and cause-specific mortality, respiratory effects, cardiovascular effects, diabetes, and birth outcomes.
The Panel is using a systematic approach to search the literature, assess study quality, summarize results, and reach conclusions about the body of evidence. To this end, a review protocol (pdf) has been published. The protocol has been registered in Prospero.
The review is currently well underway. The HEI Special Report is expected to undergo peer review in 2021 and publication is aimed for early 2022.
For more information please contact Hanna Boogaard at HEI.
HEI Panel on the Health Effects of Long-term Exposure to Traffic-Related Air Pollution*
PHOTO BY MELISSA OSTROW
Front row, from left: Eleanne van Vliet, Jennifer Weuve, Sharon Sagiv, Evi Samoli, Jeff Brook, Danielle Vienneau, Audrey Smargiassi, and Allison Patton. Back row, from left: Francesco Forastiere, Hanna Boogaard, Barbara Hoffmann, Richard Atkinson, Gerard Hoek, Fred Lurmann, Adam Szpiro, Greg Wellenius, Meltem Kutlar Joss, and Rashid Shaikh.
Francesco Forastiere, PhD (cochair) Visiting Professor, Environmental Research Group, School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College, London, UK
Frederick Lurmann, MS (cochair) Manager of Exposure Assessment Studies, Sonoma Technology, Inc., Petaluma, California
Richard Atkinson, PhD Reader in Epidemiology, Population Health Research Institute and MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health, St. George’s, University of London, UK
Jeffrey Brook, PhD Assistant Professor, Occupational and Environmental Health Division, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Canada; Member, HEI Research Committee
Howard Chang, PhD Associate Professor, Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia
Gerard Hoek, PhD Associate Professor, Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences, Environmental Epidemiology, Utrecht University, Netherlands
Barbara Hoffmann, MD, MPH Professor of Environmental Epidemiology, Institute of Occupational, Social, and Environmental Medicine, Heinrich Heine University of Düsseldorf, Germany; Member, HEI Research Committee
Tim Nawrot, PhD Professor Environmental Epidemiology, Centre for Environmental Sciences, Hasselt University, Hasselt, Belgium
Sharon Sagiv, PhD Assistant Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology, Center for Environmental Research and Children's Health, Division of Epidemiology, University of California Berkeley School of Public Health
Evangelia Samoli, Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Medical Statistics, Dept. of Hygiene, Epidemiology and Medical Statistics, School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece
Audrey Smargiassi, PhD Associate Professor, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, School of Public Health, University of Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Adam Szpiro, PhD Associate Professor of Biostatistics, Department of Biostatistics, University of Washington, Seattle
Danielle Vienneau, PhD Assistant Professor (Habilitation), Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, University of Basel, Switzerland
Jennifer Weuve, MPH, ScD Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
Consultants to the Panel
Julia Fussell, PhD, Senior Researcher Fellow, School of Public Health, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom
Frank Kelly, Frank Kelly, PhD, Humphrey Battcock Chair of Environment and Health, School of Public Health, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom, HEI Review Committee
Gregory Wellenius, ScD Professor, Department of Environmental Health, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
Meltem Kutlar Joss, Ron Kappeler and students supervised by Professor Nino Künzli, Swiss Literature Database and Services on Health Effects of Ambient Air Pollution (LUDOK), Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Basel, Switzerland