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 135
Kent E Pinkerton
Yamei Zhou
Caiyun Zhong
Kevin R Smith
Stephen V Teague
Ian M Kennedy
Margaret G Ménache
October 2008

Research Report 135 describes a study to determine whether the biologic response to inhaled ultrafine particles depends on particle composition. Neonatal and young adult rats were exposed to laboratory-generated ultrafine metal particles, either alone or in combination with soot, and their lungs examined for oxidative stress, inflammation, and injury.

Research Report 134
Jonathan Grigg
Neeta Kulkarni
Nevil Pierse
Lesley Rushton
Christopher O'Callaghan
Andrew Rutman
June 2008

Research Report 134 describes a study that evaluated whether there was an association between particles detectable in the airways of healthy children and a) estimates of local, traffic-derived PM10 at the children's home addresses or b) their lung function. Dr. Jonathan Grigg and colleagues recruited 116 healthy children aged 8 to 15 years who lived in Leicester, UK. In addition to modeling each child's exposure, the investigators measured lung function and evaluated induced sputum for particles in airway macrophages and markers of inflammation.

Research Report 130-II
Barbara J Turpin
Clifford P Weisel
Maria T Morandi
Steven Colome
Thomas Stock
Steven Eisenreich
Brian Buckley
et al.
August 2007
Topics: 

The RIOPA project comprised three studies, one funded by the Mickey Leland National Urban Air Toxics Research Center (NUATRC) and two funded by HEI, that investigated seasonal concentrations of 16 VOCs, 10 carbonyls, and PM2.5 in homes in Los Angeles CA, Houston TX, and Elizabeth NJ. The project was jointly funded and reviewed by a Special Review Panel of the two organizations. It generated a rich database on concentrations of air toxics and PM2.5 in the personal breathing zone of 100 adults in each city as well as inside and outside their homes.

Research Report 132
Elizabeth Delzell
Nalini Sathiakumar
John Graff
Maurizio Macaluso
George Maldonado
Robert Matthew
August 2006
Topics: 

This study by Dr. Elizabeth Delzell and colleagues is the first major update of the most extensive human study to date of potential carcinogenic effects of 1,3-butadiene (BD). The earlier study investigated mortality among the largest occupational group exposed to BD: 18,000 men employed in the styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR) industry between 1944 and 1991. In the current study, these workers were followed for an additional 7 years and the effects of exposure to other compounds were evaluated.

Research Report 131
Petros Koutrakis
Helen H. Suh
Jeremy A Sarnat
Kathleen Ward Brown
Brent A Coull
Joel Schwartz
December 2005

Dr. Koutrakis and his colleagues assessed the correlations between personal exposure to PM2.5 and gaseous copollutants and compare these measurements with those taken at central-site monitors. Three groups of possibly susceptible individuals (children, seniors, and individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) were recruited in two cities (Boston and Baltimore) in two seasons (summer and winter).

Research Report 130-I
Clifford P Weisel
Junfeng (Jim) Zhang
Barbara J Turpin
Maria T Morandi
Steven Colome
Thomas H Stock
Dalia M Spektor
et al.
November 2005

The RIOPA project comprised three studies, one funded by the Mickey Leland National Urban Air Toxics Research Center (NUATRC) and two funded by HEI, that investigated seasonal concentrations of 16 VOCs, 10 carbonyls, and PM2.5 in homes in Los Angeles CA, Houston TX, and Elizabeth NJ. The project was jointly funded and reviewed by a Special Review Panel of the two organizations. It generated a rich database on concentrations of air toxics and PM2.5 in the personal breathing zone of 100 adults in each city as well as inside and outside their homes.

Research Report 094-IV
Francesca Dominici
Antonella Zanobetti
Scott L Zeger
Joel Schwartz
Jonathan M Samet
September 2005

In Part IV of the Morbidity, Mortality, and Air Pollution Study (NMMAPS), Dr Francesca Dominici and colleagues at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health addressed an important question resulting from the combined analysis of air pollution effects on mortality and on hospital admissions. Is the underlying true effect per unit PM10 on mortality (the mortality slope) of the same magnitude as the effect per unit PM10 on hospitalizations (the hospitalization slope) in a given city?

Research Report 129
Fletcher F Hahn
Edward Barr
Margaret G Ménache
JeanClare Seagrave
September 2005

Dr. Hahn and colleagues systematically examined lung inflammation in young adult and old rats after inhalation of fine particles (< 2.5 µm in aerodynamic diameter) and ultrafine particles (< 0.1 µm in aerodynamic diameter) of different composition: relatively inert carbon and vanadium pentoxide (V2O5), which contains the transition metal vanadium, known to cause toxic effects upon inhalation in humans in occupational settings. In addition, they examined the effect of a short-term increase (spike) in particle exposure concentration on inflammatory response.

Research Report 124
Annette Peters
et al.
Douglas W. Dockery
et al.
June 2005

This report contains two studies, by Drs. Annette Peters and Douglas Dockery. Dr. Peters and her colleagues evaluated the association between nonfatal myocardial infarction (MI) and exposure to particulate matter just prior to the event. She asked 691 patients in hospitals in Augsburg, Germany who survived an MI to provide hourly details about their activities 4 days before MI onset. The investigators used a case-crossover analysis to determine whether exposure to pollutants was associated with onset of MI. Dr. Dockery and colleagues assessed the correlation between short-term increases in ambient concentrations of particulate matter and the risk of possibly life-threatening arrhythmias in patients with implanted cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs). The investigators studied 195 patients from Boston, MA who had either single or dual-chamber ICD's and used logistic regression models to determine whether exposure to air pollutants was associated with arrhythmias.

Research Report 133
James J Schauer
Glynis C Lough
Martin M Shafer
William F Christensen
Michael F Arndt
Jeffrey T DeMinter
June-Soo Park
March 2006

To answer important questions about possible sources of metal exposure from both tailpipe and non-tailpipe emissions, Dr. James Schauer and his colleagues at the University of Wisconsin - Madison collected and characterized metals in fine and coarse particles from a variety of sources, including tailpipe emissions, dust from brake and tire wear, and roadway dust.