Air Pollution

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Special Report
Health Effects Institute
May 2003

Over the past decade, time-series studies conducted in many cities have contributed information about the association between daily changes in concentrations of airborne particulate matter (PM) and daily morbidity and mortality. In 2002, however, investigators at Johns Hopkins University and at Health Canada identified issues in the statistical model used in the majority of time-series studies. This HEI Special Report details attempts to address several questions raised by these discoveries.

Research Report 114
Susanne Hering
Nathan Kreisberg
Walter John
February 2003

Dr. Susanne Hering of Aerosol Dynamics Inc and her colleagues set out to design and validate a personal monitoring sampler for particles smaller than 2.5 µm (PM2.5) that is suitable for subsequent chemical speciation work. The sampler intended to meet the measurement needs for PM2.5 mass concentration and several of its major constituents including elemental carbon, organic carbon, sulfates, and nitrates.

Communication 9
Health Effects Institute
August 2001

The fuel efficiency and durability of diesel technology are particularly desirable in the transportation and construction industries. Concerns about the health effects of diesel particulate emissions have led to progressively stricter emission standards, which can be met only through new technologic advances and fuel modifications. The cerium-based fuel additive Eolys, used in conjunction with a particulate filter, is one of the approaches being considered. However, this additive will result in emissions of cerium compounds and an increase in cerium in the ambient air and soil.

Research Report 94-I
Jonathan M Samet
Francesca Dominici
Scott L Zeger
Joel Schwartz
Douglas W Dockery
June 2000

In an effort to address the uncertainties regarding the association between PM and daily mortality, and to determine the effects of other pollutants on this association, HEI funded the National Morbidity, Mortality, and Air Pollution Study (NMMAPS). Dr Jonathan Samet and his colleagues at Johns Hopkins University, in collaboration with investigators at Harvard University, conducted this time-series study in large cities across the US where levels of PM and gaseous pollutants were varied.

Communication 8
Health Effects Institute
October 1999
Report of the Joint Meeting of the EC and HEI, held in Brussels, Belgium, January 14–15 1999. The following topics were discussed: What Are People Exposed To and Where Do Particles Come From? What Is Known About the Health Effects of PM? What New Research Results Are Emerging? and Outstanding Questions and Gaps for 2003 and Beyond.
Research Report 89
Thomas Burbacher
October 1999

In an effort to improve air quality and decrease dependence on petroleum, alternative fuels such as methanol have been considered to substitute for gasoline or diesel fuel. Methanol is also a candidate to provide the hydrogen for fuel cells. Before people are exposed to increased concentrations of methanol, the potential health effects of such exposures require study. Dr. Burbacher and colleagues of the University of Washington studied the effects of long-term exposure to methanol vapors on metabolism and reproduction in adult female monkeys (Macaca fascicularis) and developmental effects in their offspring, who were exposed prenatally to methanol. 

Research Report 86
William Navidi
Duncan Thomas
Bryan Langholz
Daniel Stram
May 1999

Dr. Navidi and colleagues at the University of Southern California discussed the development of three sophisticated statistical methods that would improve the estimates of the health effects of air pollution obtained from epidemiologic studies. First, they took a standard case-crossover design and introduced a bidirectional element where control data were obtained both before and after the health event of interest.

Communication 6
Health Effects Institute
January 1998
Communication 6 contains proceedings from a workshop held in Brussels, Belgium, June 29–30 1998. Presentations focused on butadiene ambient concentrations, metabolism, mutagenicity, epidemiology, and a panel discussion on Butadiene Risk Assessment in the Regulatory Framework.
Research Report 81
Ira B Tager
Patrick L Kinney
March 1998

Dr. Ira Tager and colleagues at the University of California at Berkeley (UCB), and Dr. Patrick Kinney and colleagues at the School of Public Health, Columbia University objectives were to develop new methods for estimating an individual's past exposure to ozone.

Research Report 77
Michele A Medinsky
David C Dorman
James A Bond
Owen R Moss
Derek B Janszen
Jeffrey I Everitt
June 1997

Dr. Medinsky and colleagues of the Chemical Industry Institute of Toxicology sought to determine how formate, a metabolite produced when methanol is broken down by the body, is formed and removed in monkeys after they have been exposed to methanol vapors. The investigators exposed female cynomolgus monkeys to environmentally relevant concentrations (10, 45, or 200 parts per million) of methanol vapors and to one high dose (900 ppm) for two hours.