Research Reports

HEI’s mission is to provide credible science to support environmental regulations and other policy decisions. The results of each HEI-funded project undergo peer-review by outside scientists and the Health Review Committee. The HEI Research Reports contain the Investigator’s Report and the Review Committee’s evaluation of the study, summarized in a Commentary or short Critique.

ISSN 1041-5505 (print)        ISSN 2688-6855 (online) 

Research Report 81
Ira B Tager
Patrick L Kinney

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 80
Stephen R Thom
Harry Ischiropoulos

Dr. Thom and Dr. Ischiropoulos at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center examined the effects of low concentrations of carbon monoxide on platelets and cells isolated from blood vessels. The investigators exposed blood platelets (taken from rats) and endothelial cells (isolated from bovine blood vessels) to varying concentrations of carbon monoxide and measured how much nitric oxide was released. To determine if exposure to carbon monoxide causes endothelial cells to produce peroxynitrite, the investigators looked for markers of its presence in the culture medium and in the cells.

Research Report 79
James S Ultman
Abdellaziz Ben-Jebria
Craig S MacDougall
Marc L Rigas

Dr. Ultman and his colleagues at Pennsylvania State University redesigned their first-generation analyzer that measures the dose of inhaled ozone to reduce electronic noise (interference) and improve the signal's stability. To do so, they adjusted each parameter that influenced the analyzer's performance: the flow of the air sample into the instrument, the pressure in the chamber where the air sample and the reactant gas mixed, the relative amounts of the reactant gas and air sample, and electronic variables (frequency and voltage).

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

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.

Research Report 78
John R Balmes
Mark W Frampton

Dr. John Balmes and colleagues of the University of California, San Francisco, and Dr. Mark Frampton and associates of the University of Rochester characterized ozone-induced responses in two different study populations: normal and asthmatic men and women in the Balmes study (Part I), and male and female nonsmokers and smokers in the Frampton study (Part II). The investigators addressed three issues: (1) Is an individual's reactivity to inhaled methacholine related to changes in lung function after exposure to ozone? (2) What is the relation between ozone-induced airway inflammation and changes in lung function? and (3) Do the changes in lung function and markers of inflammation in response to ozone exposure differ between normal people and people with asthma?

Research Report 65-XII
Jack R Harkema
Paul J Catalano
Jon Hotchkiss

Ozone is a highly reactive gas that is a pervasive air pollutant at ground level. It is a major component of urban smog, forming when emissions from mobile and industrial sources interact with sunlight. The Health Effects Institute collaborated with the NTP to provide eight HEI-funded investigators access to animals that underwent the same rigorously controlled ozone inhalation protocol and quality assurance processes along with the NTP animals. HEI funded this follow-on study to allow Dr.

Research Report 58-IV
John Spengler
Margo Schwab
Aidan McDermott
William E Lambert
Jonathan M Samet

Nitrogen dioxide is a ubiquitous air pollutant resulting from the combustion of fossil fuels. Indoor levels of nitrogen dioxide are often higher than outdoor concentrations, especially in homes where there are unvented heating and cooking appliances that utilize natural gas, kerosene, coal, or wood. Drs. John Spengler, Jonathan Samet, and their colleagues determined the impact of housing characteristics and the type and use of cooking ranges on nitrogen dioxide levels in infants' bedrooms in Albuquerque.

Research Report 75
Dana P Loomis
Víctor H Borja-Aburto
Shrikant I Bangdiwala
Carl M Shy

Dr. Loomis and colleagues at the University of North Carolina and Dr. Víctor Borja-Aburto of the Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública in Cuernavaca, Mexico, collected mortality, air quality, and weather data from records and monitoring stations in Mexico City from 1990 through 1992. Using statistical techniques, the investigators evaluated the association between mortality and ambient levels of ozone, sulfur dioxide, and total suspended particles, both individually and in a model that included all three pollutants.

Research Report 76
Susan T Bagley
Kirby J Baumgard
Linda D Gratz
John H Johnson
David G Leddy

Dr. Susan Bagley and colleagues at Michigan Technological University conducted a laboratory study to characterize the physical and chemical composition, and the mutagenicity of emissions from a heavy-duty 1988 diesel engine equipped with a ceramic particle trap. This engine was operated with low-sulfur fuel at a constant speed under two different load conditions. They also studied the effects of an oxidation catalytic converter on emissions from a heavy-duty 1991 diesel engine using a low-sulfur fuel.

Research Report 74
Gary M Pollack
Kim LR Brouwer

Drs. Pollack and Brouwer at the University of North Carolina determined the relationship between methanol exposure and its uptake into and elimination from the blood of nonpregnant and pregnant rodents. The investigators exposed rats and mice at several different stages of gestation to methanol intravenously or orally (doses ranged from 100 mg/kg of body weight to 2,500 mg/kg) or by inhalation (1,000 to 20,000 ppm for 8 hours). They measured blood, urine, and amniotic fluid concentrations of methanol and used the data to develop a model of methanol distribution in rodents.