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 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.

Research Report 127
Bert Brunekreef
Nicole AH Janssen
Jeroen J de Hartog
Marieke Oldenwening
Kees Meliefste
Gerard Hoek
Timo Lanki
Kirsi L Timonen
Marko Vallius
Juha Pekkanen
Rene Van Grieken
January 2005

Dr. Brunekreef and his colleagues assessed the correlation between personal, indoor, and outdoor PM2.5 concentrations for elderly people with cardiovascular disease living in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and Helsinki, Finland. Measurements were taken between November 1998 and June 1999 using fixed monitoring sites near the subjects' residences and inside their homes using the same type of monitor. Personal exposures were monitored with a different type of sampler that the subjects kept with them at all times.

Research Report 128
Mark L Witten
Simon S Wong
Nina N Sun
Ingegerd Keith
Chol-Bum Kweon
David E Foster
James J Schauer
Duane L Sherrill
January 2005

Dr. Witten and colleagues investigated the inflammatory effects of diesel exhaust exposure on rat airways. The investigators focused on the role of neurogenic inflammation, an inflammatory response defined by the release of neuropeptides, such as substance P (SP), from sensory nerve fibers known as C fibers located within the lung tissue. Neurogenic inflammation has been implicated in responses to inhaled irritants such as ozone and cigarette smoke and has been implied to play a role in asthma.

Research Report 126
Mark W Frampton
Mark J Utell
Wojciech Zareba
Günter Oberdörster
Christopher Cox
Li-Shan Huang
Paul E Morrow
F Eun-Hyung Lee
David Chalupa
Lauren M Frasier
Donna M Speers
Judith Stewart
December 2004

Dr. Frampton and his colleagues evaluated the effects of exposing healthy and mildly asthmatic men and women to laboratory-generated ultrafine carbon particles. They hypothesized that ultrafine particle exposure would activate leukocytes and endothelial cells and lead to an inflammatory response in the airway and in the blood; and that it also might affect respiration and cardiac electrophysiologic function. They further hypothesized that effects would be greater in people with asthma than in healthy people.

Research Report 123
Francesca Dominici
December 2004

This report describes a study funded under the Walter A. Rosenblith New Investigator Award. Dr Francesca Dominici and colleagues at Johns Hopkins University developed more flexible methods and statistical models for the National Morbidity, Mortality, and Air Pollution Study database.

Research Report 125
James S Ultman
Abdellaziz Ben-Jebria
Steven F Arnold
November 2004

Dr James Ultman and colleagues at Pennsylvania State University recruited 32 men and 28 women to examine differences in ozone uptake in the lung. The subjects (all non smokers) first took a series of single breaths of air–ozone mixtures, which allowed the investigators to examine how ozone was distributed in the airways and where the major fraction of ozone was taken up. In a follow-up test, the subjects pedaled a bicycle ergometer to produce conditions of moderate exercise for one hour while breathing clean air, followed by a third test while breathing ozone at 0.25 ppm).