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 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
Mitchel Klein
W Dana Flanders
James A Mulholland
Paige E Tolbert
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.

Research Report 145
Jack R Harkema
James G Wagner
Norbert E Kaminski
Masako Morishita
Gerald J Keeler
Jacob D McDonald
Edward G Barrett
November 2009

This report describes a study to investigate the suggested association between exposure to traffic-derived pollution and increases in symptoms of airway diseases, including exacerbation of asthma. Dr. Jack Harkema and colleagues assessed the effects of two pollutant mixtures, concentrated ambient particles (CAPs) and diesel exhaust, on airway inflammatory and allergic responses in a rodent model of asthma. The study was one part of an HEI 3-study program of animal and human research on these important questions.

Research Report 142
Klea Katsouyanni
Jonathan M Samet
H Ross Anderson
Richard Atkinson
Alain Le Tertre
Sylvia Medina
Evangelia Samoli
Giota Touloumi
Richard T Burnett
Daniel Krewski
Timothy Ramsay
Francesca Dominici
Roger D Peng
Joel Schwartz
Antonella Zanobetti
October 2009

This report describes a unique collaboration among investigators from Europe, the United States, and Canada using existing data from three geographic areas and supported by HEI in collaboration with the European Commission. APHENA offered a large and diverse data set with which to address methodological as well as scientific issues about the relationships between PM10, ozone, and mortality and morbidity that were the subject of lively debates at the time the project was launched. 

Research Report 144
Vernon E Walker
Dale M Walker
Quanxin Meng
Jacob D McDonald
Bobby R Scott
Steven K Seilkop
David J Claffey
Patricia B Upton
Mark W Powley
James A Swenberg
Rogene F Henderson
August 2009
Topics: 

This report describes a study to evaluate genotoxic effects of exposure to 1,3-butadiene and its metabolites. 1,3-Butadiene is classified as a human carcinogen via inhalation, but risk assessment is complicated due to differences in metabolism between mice and rats and between males and females. Dr. Walker and colleagues studied mutagenicity in rats and mice of both genders, with a focus on evaluating stereoisomers of 1,3-butadiene metabolites and low exposure concentrations.

Research Report 143
Roy M Harrison
Juana Maria Delgado-Saborit
Stephen J Baker
Noel Aquilina
Claire Meddings
Stuart Harrad
Ian Matthews
Sotiris Vardoulakis
H Ross Anderson
June 2009

This report describes a study to develop detailed personal exposure models that take various microenvironments into account. To develop the models, Dr. Harrison and colleagues made repeated measurements of exposure to selected air toxics for each of 100 healthy adult nonsmoking participants residing in urban, suburban, and rural areas of the United Kingdom expected to have different traffic exposures.

Research Report 140
Daniel Krewski
Michael Jerrett
Richard T Burnett
Renjun Ma
Edward Hughes
Yuanli Shi
Michelle C Turner
C Arden Pope III
George Thurston
Eugenia E Calle
Michael J Thun
et al.
May 2009

This report describes a recent analysis of the original ACS cohort, a large ongoing prospective study of mortality in adults that started in 1982 and has played a central role in the setting of National Ambient Air Quality Standards for fine particulate matter pollution in the U.S. as well as assessments of benefits from PM reduction worldwide. The new study describes for the first time work by Dr.