Special Reports

Periodically HEI analyzes and interprets the scientific issues pertaining to a specific environmental problem. The results of these analyses are published in HEI Special Reports, which are prepared by expert panels appointed by the HEI Board of Directors and assisted by HEI scientific staff. The reports are then peer reviewed independently by outside experts in the area of knowledge being covered by the report. HEI Special Reports have been used widely by the scientific community and by government officials in deliberations regarding public policy. Read more about HEI’s processes for Special Reports.

Special Report
Health Effects Institute
April 2002

A Special Report of the Institute's Diesel Epidemiology Working Group. The Diesel Epidemiology Working Group was formed in the fall of 2000 to (1) review reports from 6 diesel feasibility studies funded by HEI to provide information on potential study populations and on exposure assessment methods; and (2) consider the results of the feasibility studies and other ongoing research in order to develop a new research agenda to seek better information for quantitative risk assessment of lung cancer and other chronic diseases that may result from exposure to diesel exhaust. The 6 feasibility studies described in this report were funded by HEI to provide insight about whether a new retrospective or prospective epidemiologic study could provide data to improve estimates of cancer risk from exposure to diesel exhaust, and about whether new methods of exposure analysis would allow us to reevaluate older epidemiologic studies.

Special Report
Health Effects Institute
July 2000

A Special Report of the Institute's Particle Epidemiology Reanalysis Project. The overall objective of this project was to conduct a rigorous and independent assessment of the findings of the Harvard Six Cities and American Cancer Society Studies of air pollution and mortality. This objective was met in two parts. In Part I: Replication and Validation, the Reanalysis Team led by Dr. Daniel Krewski sought to replicate the original studies via a quality assurance audit of a sample of the original data and to validate the original numeric results.

Special Report
Health Effects Institute
June 1999

A Special Report of the Institute's Diesel Epidemiology Expert Panel. Although epidemiologic data have been used generally to identify the hazards associated with exposure to diesel exhaust, questions remain as to whether the human data can be used to develop reliable estimates of the magnitude of any risk for lung cancer (that is, through quantitative risk assessment [QRA]), and whether new research efforts could provide any additional data needed. In response to such issues, the Health Effects Institute initiated the Diesel Epidemiology Project in 1998.

Special Report
Health Effects Institute
March 1997

The Phase I.B Report of the Particle Epidemiology Evaluation Project. The Health Effects Institute began the Particle Epidemiology Evaluation Project in 1994 to evaluate the emerging epidemiologic evidence of a relation between particulate air pollution and daily mortality. In Phase I.B, Drs. Jonathan M. Samet and Scott L. Zeger and their colleagues at the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health (1) compared approaches for controlling the effects of weather variables when analyzing the connection between air pollution and daily mortality, primarily focusing on Synoptic Weather Categories, an approach newly proposed by Dr. Laurence S. Kalkstein of the University of Delaware; and (2) evaluated the association between particulate air pollution and daily mortality in the Philadelphia metropolitan area using statistical models that included data for five pollutants regulated under the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 (referred to as criteria pollutants).

Special Report
Health Effects Institute
April 1996

A Special Report of the Institute's Oxygenates Evaluation Committee. Oxygenated fuel (usually referred to as oxyfuel) was formulated to reduce carbon monoxide emissions and contains at least 2.7% oxygen by adding methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) or ethanol. Reformulated gasoline was formulated to help reduce ground-level ozone concentrations and contains at least 2% oxygen, has a reduced content of benzene and other aromatic compounds, and produces limited emissions of total air toxics. The introduction of fuels containing oxygenates elicited concerns from workers and the general public in some areas, including reports of unpleasant odors, headaches, or other symptoms attributed to the fuels, and questions about their effects on the cost of gasoline, the performance of engines, and fuel economy. This Special Report summarizes an intensive review of (1) the existing science of the health effects of oxygenates, (2) the risk evaluations done by the EPA in 1993 and 1994, and (3) in a qualitative way, the health effects of exposure to the new additives as they relate to the health effects of other pollutants whose levels in emissions change when fuels containing oxygenates are used.

Special Report
Health Effects Institute
August 1995

The Phase I.A Report of the Particle Epidemiology Evaluation Project. The Health Effects Institute began the Particle Epidemiology Evaluation Project in 1994 to evaluate the emerging epidemiologic evidence of a relation between particulate air pollution and daily mortality. In Phase I.A, Drs. Jonathan M. Samet and Scott L. Zeger and their colleagues at the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health (1) reconstructed from original sources the data set for Philadelphia used in earlier studies and confirmed previous numerical results from analyzing these data; (2) developed an analytic approach (including new statistical methods) based on the Philadelphia data set; and (3) applied this approach to data sets for six locations: Philadelphia; Utah Valley; St. Louis, MO; Eastern Tennessee; Birmingham, AL; and Santa Clara County, CA.

Special Report
Health Effects Institute
April 1995

A Special Report of the Institute's Diesel Working Group. Diesel engine emissions have the potential to cause adverse health effects, including cancer and other pulmonary and cardiovascular diseases. However, it is difficult to distinguish the potential health risks attributable to exposure to diesel exhaust from those attributable to other air pollutants. For over a decade, HEI has supported a broad-based research program to evaluate the health risks of diesel emissions, including investigations of carcinogenesis, modeling studies, and emissions characterization. The purpose of this Special Report is to examine what is known, not known, and still uncertain about the health risks of exposure to diesel emissions.

Special Report
Health Effects Institute
June 1993
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HEI's Research Plan to Narrow the Uncertainties. This report of the HEI Electric and Magnetic Fields (EMF) Research Planning Committee presents a 5-7 year research program intended to clarify whether or not there are adverse health effects from exposure of the public to EMF from electric power transmission, machinery, or household appliances.

Special Report
Health Effects Institute
January 1991

The Special Report Asbestos in Public and Commercial Buildings: A Literature Review and Synthesis of Current Knowledge (1991) describes the findings of the Asbestos Literature Review Panel, which was charged to determine what was known, not known, and uncertain about the risks of exposure to asbestos in public buildings.

Special Report
Health Effects Institute
September 1988

The use of ceramic particulate traps, in conjunction with manganese fuel additives, has been viewed as a way to reduce emissions of particulate matter from diesel-fueled vehicles. This Special Report focuses on the potential health effects from increased public exposure to manganese emissions from such use.