Air Toxics

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Research Report 53
George J Jakab
Terence H Risby
David R Hemenway
October 1992

Dr. George Jakab and associates the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health examined the effects of inhaled formaldehyde, an airway irritant that is part of motor vehicle emissions, on alveolar macrophages. The investigators exposed mice to varying levels of formaldehyde alone or to formaldehyde mixed with carbon black particles. Carbon black particles were chosen because of their similarity to combustion derived particles. Different alveolar macrophage functions were evaluated using two assays.

Research Report 51
Andres JP Klein-Szanto
Hitoshi Ura
Shigeru Momiki
Daniel Bonfil
Samuel Litwin
July 1992

Dr. Klein-Szanto and colleagues at the Fox Chase Cancer Center employed a novel exposure system to explore the capacity of formaldehyde to cause cancerous changes in human epithelial cells. Formaldehyde is classified as a toxic air pollutant and is emitted in exhaust of motor vehicles, but whether or not formaldehyde is injurious to human health is controversial. The investigators obtained autopsy samples from human infant airways and from adult nasal tissue.

Research Report 49
George D Leikauf
February 1992

Dr. George Leikauf and coworkers at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center examined the mechanism by which aldehyde inhalation can alter breathing patterns and damage cells lining the airways. Emissions from motor vehicles using gasoline and diesel fuels add to the outdoor levels of aldehydes, including formaldehyde and acrolein, which are known irritants of the respiratory tract. The investigators prposed to examine whether airway constriction due to exposure to aldehydes is caused by damage to airway cells, by the entry of white blood cells into the lungs, or both.

Research Report 45
Michael T Kleinman
William J Mautz
October 1991

The human health effects that result from breathing air pollutants depend on the amount of pollutant inhaled from the air (exposure dose) and the amount of inhaled material that stays in the respiratory tract (retained dose). Because the retained dose of a pollutant may damage the respiratory tract and cause disease, it is a key factor for determining appropriate government regulations for air pollutants. Drs.

Research Report 42
Mary R Cook
Fred J Bergman
Harvey D Cohen
Mary M Gerkovich
Charles Graham
Roger K Harris
Linda G Siemann
August 1991

In this pilot study, Dr. Mary Cook and colleagues at the Midwest Research Institute explored how exposure to methanol vapor might affect the human nervous system. Methanol could be used as an alternative fuel, but it may lead to increased levels of methanol and formaldehyde in the atmosphere. The investigators exposed 12 young male volunteers to either filtered air or methanol vapor and assessed their response using 20 commonly used tests of sensory, behavioral, and reasoning performance before, during, and after each exposure.

Special Report
Health Effects Institute
May 1987

Report of the Institute's Health Research Committee. This report summarizes what emissions-related health problems, if any, would emerge if methanol were to become more widely used as an automotive fuel. Methanol-fueled vehicles emit both formaldehyde and methanol vapors. in 1985, HEI started a research program to investigate the potential health effects of aldehydes, including formaldehyde. Before proceeding with research on methanol vapors, the HEI Health Research Committee decided to undertake additional analysis.