Diesel Exhaust

This page has a list of publications and news articles related to Air Pollution - Diesel Exhaust. Find more information about our research on Air Pollution.

Research Report 159
Simon S Wong
Nina N Sun
Cynthia D Fastje
Mark L Witten
R Clark Lantz
Bao Lu
Duane L Sherrill
Craig J Gerard
Jefferey L Burgess
June 2011

This report evaluates airway inflammatory responses and expression of the enzyme neprilysin in response to diesel exhaust particle exposure. Dr. Wong and colleagues hypothesized that components of diesel exhaust decrease neprilysin levels in airways, leading to airway function disorders and heightened responses to diesel exhaust. They exposed normal mice, mice genetically deficient in neprilysin, human subjects, and human airway epithelial cells to diesel exhaust particles and measured airway inflammation, neprilysin expression, and any unique responses in neprilysin-deficient mice.

Communication 16
Health Effects Institute
February 2011

This report reviews new vehicle fuels and technologies that are likely to be commercially available within the next 10 years in the United States and other industrialized countries at a level that could result in significant population exposure. It highlights expected changes in emissions and other effects from the use of each technology and fuel, along with any life-cycle and regulatory issues.

Research Report 151
Debra L Laskin
Gediminas Mainelis
Barbara J Turpin
Kinal J Patel
Vasanthi R Sunil
September 2010

This report explores the possible physiological basis for epidemiologic results suggesting that people over the age of 55 are more sensitive than younger people to the effects of exposure to particulate matter. Dr. Debra Laskin and colleagues hypothesized that this sensitivity resulted from the lung cells of the elderly producing less of the cytokine tumor necrosis factor-α (a cell protein involved in systemic inflammation), as compared with the lung cells of the young after exposure to air pollution.

Research Report 147
Barbara Zielinska
Shar Samy
Jacob D McDonald
JeanClare Seagrave
April 2010

This report describes a study by Dr. Barbara Zielinska and colleagues to investigate the changes that fresh diesel emissions undergo when they are mixed with ambient air, due to reactions with sunlight and other pollutants. The investigators also evaluated how those changes may affect the toxic properties of diesel emissions. The study used a relatively new (2003 model) light duty diesel engine (although not one with a diesel filter) and provides insight into the complexity of diesel exhaust composition in the real world.

Research Report 145
Jack R Harkema
James G Wagner
Norbert E Kaminski
Masako Morishita
Gerald J Keeler
Jacob D McDonald
Edward G Barrett
November 2009

This report describes a study to investigate the suggested association between exposure to traffic-derived pollution and increases in symptoms of airway diseases, including exacerbation of asthma. Dr. Jack Harkema and colleagues assessed the effects of two pollutant mixtures, concentrated ambient particles (CAPs) and diesel exhaust, on airway inflammatory and allergic responses in a rodent model of asthma. The study was one part of an HEI 3-study program of animal and human research on these important questions.

Research Report 138
Junfeng (Jim) Zhang
James E McCreanor
Paul Cullinan
Kian Fan Chung
Pamela Ohman-Strickland
In-Kyu Han
Lars Järup
Mark J Nieuwenhuijsen
February 2009

Research Report 138, Health Effects of Real-World Exposure to Diesel Exhaust in Persons with Asthma, is one part of HEI's larger program on the role of particles in exacerbating asthma and other allergic diseases. This report describes a study to evaluate how inhaling air with a high concentration of diesel exhaust from vehicular traffic while walking on a busy street in Central London might affect people who had either mild or moderate asthma. Dr.

Research Report 128
Mark L Witten
Simon S Wong
Nina N Sun
Ingegerd Keith
Chol-Bum Kweon
David E Foster
James J Schauer
Duane L Sherrill
January 2005

Dr. Witten and colleagues investigated the inflammatory effects of diesel exhaust exposure on rat airways. The investigators focused on the role of neurogenic inflammation, an inflammatory response defined by the release of neuropeptides, such as substance P (SP), from sensory nerve fibers known as C fibers located within the lung tissue. Neurogenic inflammation has been implicated in responses to inhaled irritants such as ozone and cigarette smoke and has been implied to play a role in asthma.

Research Report 112
Stephen T Holgate
Thomas Sandström
et al.
Stephen T Holgate
Robert B Devlin
et al.
December 2003

Stephen Holgate and his colleagues at the University of Southampton proposed that inflammatory changes in lung fluids and blood from humans exposed to PM were related to the chemical composition of the particles. He obtained samples from two human studies in which participants were exposed to diesel exhaust and concentrated ambient particles (CAPs). At a Swedish laboratory 25 healthy and 12 asthmatic participants were exposed to diesel exhaust or filtered air on separate days. At a US laboratory, 12 healthy participants were exposed to filtered air and 30 different healthy participants were exposed to a range of CAPs concentrations. All participants underwent bronchoscopy to obtain lung tissues and fluids to analyze inflammatory markers, including numbers of specific white blood cells, expression of activation markers, and levels of cytokines in addition to analysis of lung function, lung fluids, and blood.

Communication 10
Health Effects Institute
April 2003

Communication 10 contains proceedings of a workshop held in Baltimore, MD, December 4–6 2002. The workshop sought to address the search for a "Diesel Signature": Do We Have a Diesel Signature? Where Do We Go From Here? Communication 10 includes a workshop summary and reports from speakers on: Health Studies of Diesel Particulate Matter; Future Trends of Diesel Emissions; Diesel and Gasoline Particle Characteristics; Approaches to Particle Characterization; Diesel Source Signature Studies; Emissions and Air Quality Studies; Data Analysis Approaches.

Special Report
Health Effects Institute
April 2002

A Special Report of the Institute's Diesel Epidemiology Working Group. The Diesel Epidemiology Working Group was formed in the fall of 2000 to (1) review reports from 6 diesel feasibility studies funded by HEI to provide information on potential study populations and on exposure assessment methods; and (2) consider the results of the feasibility studies and other ongoing research in order to develop a new research agenda to seek better information for quantitative risk assessment of lung cancer and other chronic diseases that may result from exposure to diesel exhaust. The 6 feasibility studies described in this report were funded by HEI to provide insight about whether a new retrospective or prospective epidemiologic study could provide data to improve estimates of cancer risk from exposure to diesel exhaust, and about whether new methods of exposure analysis would allow us to reevaluate older epidemiologic studies.