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 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.

Research Report 150
Ryan Q Meng
Linda C Hackfeld
Richard P Hodge
Lynne A Wisse
Diana L Redetzke
Vernon E Walker
June 2010
Topics: 

This report describes a study by Dr. Ryan Meng and colleagues to determine the role of stereochemistry in the cytotoxicity and mutagenicity of three major butadiene metabolites. This study is a part of HEI's program of research in air toxics; one important aim of that program has been to fill key gaps in risk assessment for some of the most important chemicals. Butadiene is present in motor vehicle exhaust and other emissions and is listed by the U.S.

Research Report 149
Thomas M Cahill
M Judith Charles
Vincent Y Seaman
May 2010
Topics: 

This report describes a study by Dr. Thomas Cahill and colleagues to create and evaluate a new method to measure acrolein and other volatile carbonyls present at low concentrations in ambient air. Acrolein is an important aldehyde that is very difficult to measure accurately, so developing better methods for measuring levels and exposure is critical to better risk assessment for the chemical. The investigators developed a sampler that traps acrolein using sodium bisulfite in an aqueous medium.

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 148
Jennifer L. Peel
W Dana Flanders
James A Mulholland
Paige E Tolbert
Mitchel Klein
April 2010

This report is the latest in HEI's program of studies to assess the health impacts of air quality actions. Research Report 148 describes a study to evaluate the effect of a short-term, temporary intervention to reduce traffic congestion during the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia. A previous study had shown a decrease in acute care visits for pediatric asthma and a concomitant decrease in concentrations of ozone, particulate matter, and carbon monoxide.

Research Report 146
Michael T Borchers
Scott C Wesselkamper
Hitesh Deshmukh
Erin Beckman
Mario Medvedovic
Maureen Sartor
George D Leikauf
December 2009
Topics: 

This report describes a study to investigate the role of two subpopulations of T cells in the airway response to inhaled acrolein, a toxic pollutant in ambient air, which US EPA's National Air Toxics Assessment has identified as having broad effects. Dr. Michael Borchers and colleagues measured inflammation and injury in response to acrolein in the lungs of mice that are genetically deficient in the specific T-cell subpopulations. He also measured changes in gene expression in the T-cell subpopulations after acrolein exposure. This study was funded under the Walter A.