Particulate Matter

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Perspectives 2
Health Effects Institute
April 2002

Perspectives 2 is the second of a series produced by the HEI Health Review Committee to integrate findings across several HEI studies or entire research programs. The intent is to describe and interpret results bearing on important and timely issues for a broad audience interested in environmental health.

Research Report 107
Alan W Gertler
et al.
Daniel Grosjean
et al.
January 2002

This report describes two studies that measured emissions in roadway tunnels. Dr. Alan Gertler and colleagues at the Desert Research Institute studied particulate matter emissions in the Tuscarora Mountain Tunnel located on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Dr Daniel Grosjean and colleague at DGA, Inc studied carbonyl emissions in the Tuscarora Mountain Tunnel and in the Caldecott Tunnel in California. The unique environment in tunnel studies allows the investigators to measure emission rates averaged over many vehicles, to determine the physical and chemical character of emissions under ambient conditions, and in some instances to compare current emissions with past emissions at the same location. Both groups of investigators also measured emissions at times when the proportions of gasoline engine vehicles and diesel engine vehicles differed, allowing them to estimate the differences between emissions from the two sources.

Research Report 105
George D Leikauf
Susan A McDowell
Scott C Wesselkamper
Clay R Miller
William D Hardie
Kelly Gammon
Pratim P Biswas
Thomas R Korfhagen
Cindy J Bachurski
Jonathan S Wiest
Klaus Willeke
Eula Bingham
John E Leikauf
Bruce J Aronow
et al.
December 2001

Dr. Leikauf and colleagues at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center hypothesized that the response of mice exposed to high concentrations of inhaled nickel particles was under genetic control. Using nickel, a transition element shown to cause adverse effects at high concentrations in ambient air, the investigators sought to identify the genes involved in controlling the inflammatory and toxic effects of continuous exposure to nickel particles.

Research Report 106
Lester Kobzik
Carroll-Ann W Goldsmith
Yao Yu Ning
Guozhong Qin
Bill Morgan
Amy Imrich
Joy Lawrence
GG Krishna Murthy
Paul J Catalano
December 2001

Dr. Lester Kobzik and colleagues at the Harvard School of Public Health used a mouse model of asthma to evaluate how inhaling pollutants affects the airways. The mice were sensitized to the allergen ovalbumin, which induces a lung condition in the mice similar to that found in people with asthma. The investigators hypothesized that exposure to concentrated ambient particles (CAPs) plus ozone would cause a synergistic (or greater-than-additive) response in the mice.

Research Report 104
Renaud Vincent
Premkumari Kumarathasan
Patrick Goegan
Stephen G Bjarnason
Josée Guénette
Denis Bérubé
Ian Y Adamson
Suzanne Desjardins
Richard T Burnett
Frederick J Miller
Bruno Battistini
October 2001

Dr. Renaud Vincent and his colleagues of Health Canada, Ottawa, hypothesized that ambient PM would cause changes in certain cardiovascular parameters. The investigators implanted rats with radiotransmitters to collect continuous data and indwelling catheters for repeated blood sampling. The animals were exposed to clean air or one of four types of resuspended particles: ambient particles (Ottawa dust), ambient particles that had been washed in water to remove soluble components, diesel soot, or carbon black.

Research Report 96
Günter Oberdörster
Jacob N Finkelstein
Carl Johnston
Robert Gelein
Christopher Cox
Raymond Baggs
Alison CP Elder
August 2001

Dr Günter Oberdörster and colleagues at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry hypothesized that inhaled ultrafine particles induce an inflammatory response in the airways of mice and rats and that animals with preexisting airway inflammatory conditions may be particularly vulnerable. The investigators focused on inhaled carbon and platinum particles because these elements are constituents of particles found in urban atmospheres.

Perspectives 1
Health Effects Institute
June 2001

Perspectives 1 is the first of a series produced by the HEI Health Review Committee to integrate findings across several HEI studies or entire research programs. The intent is to describe and interpret results bearing on important and timely issues for a broad audience in terested in environmental health.

Research Report 101
Per Gerde
Bruce A Muggenburg
Margot Lundborg
Yohannes Tesfaigzi
Alan R Dahl
April 2001

Dr. Gerde and colleagues at the Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute examined the effects of organic compounds in diesel exhaust such as genotoxic polynuclear aromatic compounds (PAHs). The investigators removed most of the organic compounds from diesel exhaust particles and bound radioactive Benzo[a]pyrene (BaP), a type of PAH is known to cause cancer in laboratory animals, to them. They exposed the lower respiratory tract of three dogs to the particles and measured the levels of particle-bound BaP and free BaP released from particles in the peripheral region of the lungs.

Research Report 99
Harvey Checkoway
Drew Levy
Lianne Sheppard
Joel D Kaufman
Jane Koenig
David Siscovick
December 2000

Dr Checkoway and colleagues at the University of Washington tested the primary hypothesis that increases in daily fine particle levels were related to increased risk of out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest. Sudden cardiac arrest and questionnaire data, and exposure data were obtained from the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (Seattle WA). The investigators used a case-crossover study design; for each case of sudden cardiac arrest, a time period when the person was disease free was selected as a matched "referent" period.

Research Report 98
H-Erich Wichmann
Claudia Spix
Thomas Tuch
Gabriele Wölke
Annette Peters
Joachim Heinrich
Wolfgang Kreyling
Joachim Heyder
November 2000

Dr H-Erich Wichmann and colleagues at the National Research Center for Environment and Health in Germany prospectively studied the association of daily mortality data with the number and mass concentrations of ultrafine and fine particles in Erfurt, Germany. Concentrations were measured near a road and a time-series approach was used to look at short-term changes in particle concentration and concurrent deaths due to cardiovascular and respiratory causes over a period of 3.5 years.