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Two important new HEI studies underway


HEI has funded two new studies under a general request for applications (RFA 17-2) on the health effects of air pollution. Periodically, HEI issues such a general RFA to fund research that falls outside of current RFAs but  meets the broader interests of its Strategic Plan. After review of the proposals by the Research Committee and outside experts, HEI decided to fund the two studies described below.

Amir Hakami, associate professor in environmental engineering and associate dean of research and graduate studies at Carleton University (Canada), and colleagues will perform a health impact assessment of decreased emissions of nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, ammonia, primary particulate matter species, and volatile organic compounds. They will assess exposure using a new adjoint modeling extension their team built for the Community Multiscale Air Quality modeling system. Monetized health impacts of reductions in air pollution sources will be calculated on a 12‐km grid across the United States and Canada for 2002 and 2014. They plan to develop and apply a source‐ and location-specific database of benefits per ton of emissions reduction for different classes of vehicles and major point sources.

Roel Vermeulen, professor of environmental epidemiology and exposome science at the Institute of Risk Assessment Sciences at Utrecht University, the Netherlands, and colleagues will conduct a large cohort study investigating long-term air pollution and cause-specific mortality in Asia, using pooled data from 23 cohorts of the Asia Cohort Consortium, resulting in a study population of 1.2 million Asians. Exposure to air pollution will be estimated primarily using satellite data, building on the methods that have been used in the Global Burden of Disease studies. The study will fill a key gap in long-term epidemiology results in developing Asia, inform efforts to characterize exposure–response functions of long-term exposure to air pollution and (cause-specific) mortality, and provide useful information for decisions about future air quality standards in Asian countries.

These studies recently began and will be completed within two to three years. The investigators will present their work at the 2019 HEI Annual Conference in Seattle, Washington. See our Ongoing Studies page for study abstracts.