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 183, Part III
John Molitor
Eric Coker
Michael Jerrett
Beate Ritz
Arthur Li
April 2016

This report is Part 3 of HEI Research Report 183, Development of Statistical Methods for Multipollutant Research. It describes a study to develop and apply statistical methods to analyze the effects of multipollutant exposures on health, expanding beyond the two-pollutant approaches used in many studies to date. HEI funded three innovative studies in recent years to improve the tools for analyzing complex multipollutant exposures. In this last report from these studies, John Molitor and colleagues describe a Bayesian framework to identify spatial clusters of air pollution exposures — and other covariates such as socioeconomic status — and estimated pregnancy outcomes associated with those clusters, using a data set for Los Angeles county. 

Research Report 185
Patrick H Ryan
Cole Brokamp
Zhi-Hua (Tina) Fan
MB Rao
December 2015

This report describes a study by Dr. Patrick Ryan at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. He used the RIOPA data – which HEI has made available to all scientists on the Web to further explore relationships among the elemental composition of indoor, outdoor, and personal PM2.5 samples collected at participant’s homes. His analyses included traditional and novel approaches to comparing the samples.

Research Report 183, Parts 1 and 2
Brent A Coull
et al.
Eun Sug Park
et al.
June 2015

This report contains two studies, by Drs. Brent A Coull and Eun Sug Park and their colleagues, and a Commentary discussing each study individually, as well as an Integrative Discussion of the two. 
Part 1. Statistical Learning Methods for the Effects of Multiple Air Pollution ConstituentsBrent A. Coull et al.
Part 2. Development of Enhanced Statistical Methods for Assessing Health Effects Associated with an Unknown Number of Major Sources of Multiple Air Pollutants. Eun Sug Park et al. 

Research Report 184
Jacob D McDonald
Jeffrey C Bemis
Lance M Hallberg
Daniel J Conklin
January 2015

This report describes four studies conducted as a single phase (Phase 3B) of HEI's Advanced Collaborative Emissions Study (ACES) program, which was designed to evaluate the emissions and health changes resulting from substantially improved diesel engines required under the U.S. EPA 2007–2010 Heavy Duty Diesel Rule. These studies were conducted by Drs. Jacob D. McDonald of the Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Jeffrey C. Bemis of Litron Laboratories, Rochester, New York, Lance M. Hallberg of the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas, and Daniel J. Conklin, University of Louisville, Kentucky.

Research Report 182
Thomas H Barker
Marilyn M Dysart
Ashley C Brown
Alison M Douglas
Vincent F Fiore
Armistead (Ted) G Russell
November 2014

This report is a study focused on lung tissue repair processes after inflammation and injury resulting from exposure to particulate matter (PM) from combustion sources. Dr. Thomas H. Barker of Georgia Institute of Technology, a recipient of HEI's Walter A. Rosenblith New Investigator Award, and his colleagues tested the hypotheses that alveolar epithelial cells grown on substrates of increasing stiffness would transition to mesenchymal cells — an early step along the pathway to fibrosis — and that the addition of fine PM would enhance these effects.

Research Report 181
Stuart Batterman
Feng-Chiao Su
Shi Li
Bhramar Mukherjee
Chunrong Jia
June 2014

This report describes a study to identify factors that influence exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and VOC mixtures. Dr. Stuart Batterman at the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor and colleagues used the extensive data that HEI posted on the Web from the Relationships of Indoor, Outdoor, and Personal Air (RIOPA) study (HEI Research Report 130 Parts I and II), and data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), to characterize exposure distributions for 15 VOCs, with an emphasis on high concentrations. Factors examined included geographic location, weather, characteristics of participants' homes, and specific activities, such as pumping gas.

Research Report 179
Charles O Stanier
Sang-Rin Lee
June 2014

This report describes a study in which a model to simulate the dispersion of ultrafine particles near roadways was developed and tested. Understanding what happens to ultrafines near roadways – and how that influences exposure – is a key area that HEI's Perspectives 3 on ultrafines (2013) identified. Dr. Charles Stanier at the University of Iowa–Iowa City, a recipient of HEI's Walter A.

Research Report 180
Yifang Zhu
Qunfang Zhang
March 2014

This report describes a study that assessed levels of ultrafine particles and other pollutants around diesel engine school buses and identified factors contributing to those levels. Dr. Yifang Zhu at the University of California–Los Angeles, a recipient of HEI's Walter A. Rosenblith New Investigator Award, measured pollutant levels in and around school buses while driving, while idling, before and after retrofitting with a diesel particle filter and/or oxidation catalyst, and before and after installing an in-cabin filtration system.

Research Report 175
James M Robins
Peng Zhang
Rajeev Ayyagari
Roger Logan
Eric Tchetgen Tchetgen
Lingling Li
Thomas Lumley
Aad van der Vaart
November 2013

This report describes semiparametric methods for epidemiologic investigations of the short-term effects of air pollution on health, intended specifically to improve the reliability of point estimates and confidence intervals. Dr. James Robins of the Harvard School of Public Health and colleagues developed the new methods, used simulations to compare them with other methods, and applied them to a large epidemiologic data set from the National Morbidity, Mortality, and Air Pollution Study (NMMAPS) to assess their effectiveness. The report is accompanied by a short editorial to assist the reader in understanding this study and its contributions to epidemiologic methods for air pollution.

Research Report 177
Morton Lippmann
Lung Chi Chen
Terry Gordon
Kazuhiko Ito
George D Thurston
October 2013

This report describes the results of a study of long-term effects of PM components in the American Cancer Society's Cancer Prevention Study II cohort; a time-series study of short-term effects of PM components on cardiovascular and other diseases in people living in 150 U.S. cities; and two toxicologic studies in animals exposed by inhalation to concentrated ambient particles, and in animals and human cells exposed to particles collected on filters from five different airsheds across the United States. This report, along with Research Report 178 (Vedal et al.), is one of HEI's National Particle Component Toxicity (NPACT) studies, which describe the most systematic multidisciplinary studies to date to investigate the health effects of PM components in humans and animal models at locations across the United States where the effects of PM sources and components may differ. The report includes a Commentary and a Synthesis by the NPACT Review Panel.