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.
Research Report 160
Paul J Lioy
Zhihua (Tina) Fan
Junfeng (Jim) Zhang
Panos Georgopoulos
Sheng-Wei Wang
Pamela Ohman-Strickland
Xiangmei Wu
Xianlei Zhu
Jason Herrington
Xiaogang Tang
Qingyu Meng
Kyung Hwa Jung
Jaymin Kwon
Marta Hernandez
et al.
August 2011

This report describes a study that tested whether an air toxics "hot spot" existed in Camden, NJ. Dr. Lioy and colleagues evaluated ambient and personal exposures of nonsmoking residents to PM2.5, VOCs, aldehydes, and PAHs in two neighborhoods in Camden, NJ, one of which was hypothesized to be a regional air toxics "hot spot." The investigators compared concentrations of air pollutants in the two neighborhoods with each other and then with concentrations at other locations in the United States. They also assessed the effects of seasonality, contributions from mobile sources, and spatial variability.

Research Report 158
John Spengler
Jamson Lwebuga-Mukasa
Jose Vallarino
Steve Melly
Steve Chillrud
Joel Baker
Taeko Minegishi
July 2011
Topics: 

This report describes a study that tested whether emissions from traffic caused an air toxics "hot spot" in a neighborhood in Buffalo, New York. Dr. Spengler and colleagues hypothesized that vehicle-related emissions from heavy traffic at the Peace Bridge in Buffalo, one of the nation's busiest border crossings and a potential air pollution hot spot, would result in elevated downwind levels of mobile-source air toxics (MSATs) and other traffic-related pollutants. The investigators measured levels of a large number of MSATs as well as six criteria pollutants using both fixed-site and mobile monitoring in order to examine the relation between traffic at the bridge and the spatial distribution of ambient pollutant concentrations at the bridge and in an adjacent neighborhood.

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.

Research Report 155
Frank Kelly
H Ross Anderson
Ben Armstrong
Richard Atkinson
Benjamin Barratt
Sean Beevers
Dick Derwent
David Green
Ian Mudway
Paul Wilkinson
April 2011

This report describes a study that was funded under HEI's research program aimed at measuring the possible health impacts associated with actions taken to improve air quality (health outcomes research). Dr. Kelly and colleagues used a multifaceted approach to exploring the impact of the Congestion Charging Scheme on air quality, which involved a variety of emissions and exposure modeling techniques, analysis of air monitoring data, and a newly developed assay for the oxidative potential of particulate matter collected on filters at urban backgrounds and roadside monitors.

Research Report 157
Kalpana Balakrishnan
et al.
Uma Rajarathnam
et al.
March 2011

This report contains studies in Chennai and Delhi led by Dr. Kalpana Balakrishnan and Dr. Uma Rajarathnam, respectively. These time-series studies of air pollution and mortality in India were funded under HEI's PAPA Program to provide information to inform regulatory and other decisions that would be relevant to local populations, with the added goal of supporting scientific capacity building in the region.

Research Report 156
Eric M Fujita
David E Campbell
Barbara Zielinska
William P Arnott
Judith C Chow
February 2011
Topics: 

This report describes research funded under HEI's Air Toxics Hot Spot program. Dr. Eric Fujita and colleagues characterized concentrations of mobile-source air toxics (MSATs) and other pollutants in potential Los Angeles County pollution hot spots, including on urban highways with a varying mix of gasoline- and diesel-powered traffic and sites at various distances from the highways and close to other roads.

Research Report 153
James J Schauer
Brian J Majestic
Rebecca J Sheesley
Martin M Shafer
Jeffrey T DeMinter
Mark Mieritz
December 2010

This report investigates methods with the high sensitivity and low limits of detection needed to analyze a wide range of chemical species in particulate matter collected with personal samplers. Dr. Schauer and colleagues developed sensitive methods to detect trace metals, nonpolar organic compounds, and polar organic compounds in personal samples collected in exposure studies. Methods used in this study are of interest to researchers seeking to gain greater insight into the relationships between the components of inhalable particulates and their health effects.

Research Report 152
Jonathan I Levy
Jane E Clougherty
Lisa K Baxter
E Andres Houseman
Christopher J Paciorek
December 2010

This report explores how land-use regression and source-apportionment techniques can be used to characterize individual-level exposure to both indoor and outdoor air pollution sources. Dr. Levy and colleagues utilized health and air monitoring data from an ongoing prospective cohort study on childhood asthma in Boston, Massachusetts to model variability in outdoor and indoor residential air pollution, identify potential sources, and evaluate the effectiveness of various indoor exposure surrogates for predicting childhood asthma development.

Research Report 154
Haidong Kan
et al.
Zhengmin Qian
et al.
Nuntavarn Vichit-Vadakan
et al.
Chit-Ming Wong
et al.
November 2010

This report describes the first set of coordinated time-series studies ever undertaken in Asian cities: four time-series studies of the health effects of air pollution in Bangkok, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Wuhan. These studies were intended to help bridge the gaps between studies conducted in different locations around the globe.

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.