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Update Summer 2016

Health Effects Institute
July 2016

This edition of Update reports on HEI's presentation of GBD MAPS results at a major Chinese air pollution meeting; HEI's Annual Conference in Denver in May; two new HEI research reports on the effects of air pollution on birth and pregnancy outcomes; a meeting of the National Association of Clean Air Agencies at which HEI shared research results with diverse experts and regulators; and HEI's participation at a EPA Clean Air Act Advisory Committee meeting in June.

New Methods to Detect Aerosol Chemical Composition-Induced Reactive Oxygen Species in a Biological Model

Richard E Peltier
Whitney Huynh
Pallavi Pant
Massimiliano Mascelloni
June 2016
Unpublished report

This unpublished research report describes a two-year study aimed at building and testing a method for the semi-continuous measurement of reactive oxidant species (ROS) generated by particulate matter in a cellular assay. The assay relied on the use of a compound that turns into a fluorescent product upon reaction with ROS generated in the cells.

Causal Inference Methods for Estimating Long-Term Health Effects of Air Quality Regulations

Corwin M. Zigler
Chanmin Kim
Christine Choirat
John Barrett Hansen
Yun Wang
Lauren Hund
Jonathan Samet
Gary King
Francesca Dominici
May 2016
Research Report 187

HEI Research Report 187 was funded as part of HEI’s Accountability research program, aimed at understanding whether actions to improve air quality have resulted in improved health outcomes. Corwin M. Zigler and his colleagues used existing and newly developed statistical methods to assess whether an intervention was causally related to changes in pollutant levels or health outcomes, and applied their methods in two well-developed case studies: effects of air quality interventions to reduce PM10 concentrations in nonattainment areas and the impact of installation of scrubber technologies on emissions from coal-fired power plants.

Ambient and Controlled Particle Exposures as Triggers for Acute ECG Changes

David Q. Rich
Annette Peters
Alexandra Schneider
Wojciech Zareba
Susanne Breitner
David Oakes
Jelani Wiltshire
Cathleen Kane
Mark W Frampton
Regina Hampel
Philip K Hopke
Josef Cyrys
Mark J Utell
May 2016
Research Report 186

Using data from four previously completed studies (two panel studies and two controlled-exposure studies), David Rich and Annette Peters and their teams investigated potential mechanisms behind the effects of short-term exposure to PM2.5 and ultrafine particles on changes in cardiac rhythm, including heart rate variability and other ECG parameters.

Update Spring 2016

Health Effects Institute
May 2016

This newsletter reports on a third study under way in Europe to complete the comprehensive HEI effort to examine the potential health effects of air pollution at low levels; HEI's new research program focusing on the health effects of exposure to traffic-related pollution; and the GBD MAPS team's presentation of preliminary data on coal’s impact on health in China. In addition, it covers the publication of two new research reports covering novel statistical methods for studying pollutant mixtures and a “direct” approach evaluating the impact of air quality interventions through “causal inference” methods, as well as the retirement of HEI's Aaron Cohen, a strategy session held with HEI's sponsors, and HEI in the news.

Modeling of Multipollutant Profiles and Spatially Varying Health Effects with Applications to Indicators of Adverse Birth Outcomes

John Molitor
Eric Coker
Michael Jerrett
Beate Ritz
Arthur Li
April 2016
Research Report 183, Part III

This report is Part 3 of HEI Research Report 183, Development of Statistical Methods for Multipollutant Research. It describes a study to develop and apply statistical methods to analyze the effects of multipollutant exposures on health, expanding beyond the two-pollutant approaches used in many studies to date. HEI funded three innovative studies in recent years to improve the tools for analyzing complex multipollutant exposures. In this last report from these studies, John Molitor and colleagues describe a Bayesian framework to identify spatial clusters of air pollution exposures — and other covariates such as socioeconomic status — and estimated pregnancy outcomes associated with those clusters, using a data set for Los Angeles county. 

Update Winter 2016

Health Effects Institute
February 2016

The Winter Update newsletter features the upcoming HEI Annual Conference (sign up now!), a new member of the Review Committee, and a Global Burden of Disease Workshop in Mumbai, India, to calculate air pollution’s impact on global health. Also read about HEI’s study of changes in emissions in tunnels with the advent of new technology and HEI’s pending move to a new home.

Annual Report

Health Effects Institute
January 2016
Annual Report

The 2015 Annual Report – Vision 2020 - describes HEI’s partnership with scientists, government, industry, and the environmental community to provide high-quality, impartial, and relevant science to inform public policy decisions about air quality and public health. The report highlights the vision underlying HEI’s Strategic Plan 2015-2020 and outlines HEI’s contributions in the past year to important questions.

Analysis of Personal and Home Characteristics Associated with the Elemental Composition of PM2.5 in Indoor, Outdoor, and Personal Air in the RIOPA Study

Patrick H Ryan
Cole Brokamp
Zhi-Hua (Tina) Fan
MB Rao
December 2015
Research Report 185

This report describes a study by Dr. Patrick Ryan at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. He used the RIOPA data – which HEI has made available to all scientists on the Web to further explore relationships among the elemental composition of indoor, outdoor, and personal PM2.5 samples collected at participant’s homes. His analyses included traditional and novel approaches to comparing the samples.

Executive Summary. The Advanced Collaborative Emissions Study (ACES)

Health Effects Institute
December 2015
Communication - ACES

This Executive Summary of the Advanced Collaborative Emissions Study (ACES) summarizes the main findings of emissions and health testing of new-technology heavy-duty diesel engines capable of meeting US 2007/2010 and EURO VI/6 diesel emissions standards. The results demonstrated the dramatic improvements in emissions and the absence of any significant health effects (especially cancer). ACES was the most comprehensive examination done to date of engines meeting the US 2007 and 2010 on-road standards.