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Update Fall 2017

Health Effects Institute
October 2017

In this issue of HEI Update, read about the new ways HEI is making study data accessible; a literature review that HEI will soon initiate on the effects of exposure to traffic-related air pollution; two new members of the HEI Review Committee; and a newly published summary of an HEI expert workshop on the effects of fuel composition on particulate matter emissions.

Particulate Air Pollutants, Brain Structure, and Neurocognitive Disorders in Older Women

Jiu-Chiuan Chen
Xinhui Wang
Marc Serre
Steven Cen
Meredith Franklin
Mark Espeland
October 2017
Research Report 193

Research Report 193 describes a novel study by Jiu-Chiuan Chen and colleagues examining possible associations between long-term exposure to ambient particulate matter (PM) and changes in the brains of older women in the United States. The study focused on brain volumes and neurocognitive outcomes, specifically mild cognitive impairment and dementia. Dr. Chen used neuroimaging and cognitive outcome data from women enrolled in the Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study and estimated their exposure to ambient PM2.5 and to diesel PM.

Update Summer 2017

Health Effects Institute
August 2017

In this issue of HEI Update, read about the Haagen-Smit Clean Air Leadership Award given to HEI President Dan Greenbaum by the California Air Resources Board, the two 2017 recipients of HEI’s Walter A. Rosenblith New Investigator Award, and the progress of HEI studies examining potential health effects at low levels of air pollution. Also in this issue is a recap of HEI’s recent Annual Conference in Alexandria, Virginia.

Multicenter Ozone Study in oldEr Subjects (MOSES): Part 1. Effects of Exposure to Low Concentrations of Ozone on Respiratory and Cardiovascular Outcomes

Mark W Frampton
John R Balmes
Philip A Bromberg
Paul Stark
Mehrdad Arjomandi
Milan J Hazucha
David Q Rich
Danielle Hollenbeck-Pringle
Nicholas Dagincourt
Neil Alexis
Peter Ganz
Wojciech Zareba
Maria G Costantini
June 2017
Research Report 192 Part 1

HEI Research Report 192 describes a multicenter study by John Balmes at the University of California–San Francisco, Phil Bromberg at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill, and Mark Frampton at the University of Rochester, New York. The study was designed to test whether ozone has short-term cardiovascular effects at present-day ambient levels. It evaluated respiratory and cardiovascular outcomes in 87 healthy participants (60 years old on average) who were exposed to 0, 70, or 120 ppb ozone for 3 hours while exercising moderately.

Update Spring 2017

Health Effects Institute
June 2017

In this issue of Update, read about HEI’s forthcoming publication of a major report, Multicenter Ozone Study in Older Subjects; the briefing of key legislators and stakeholders on HEI’s Accountability Research Program; and a forthcoming study examining potential links between air pollution and dementia in older women. This issue also highlights worldwide media coverage of HEI’s State of Global Air Report 2017.

Protective Role of Eosinophils and Tumor Necrosis Factor-α after Ozone Inhalation

Allison D Fryer
David B Jacoby
Sarah A Wicher
March 2017
Research Report 191

Research Report 191 describes a study by Allison Fryer and colleagues that addressed how exposure to ozone affects the immune and physiological responses in guinea pigs. In her study, Dr. Fryer focused on eosinophils, white blood cells that play an important role in inflammation, allergies, and allergic asthma, and can modify the airway response to ozone inhalation. This study tested a novel hypothesis: that allergic guinea pigs react differently to ozone than normal animals because of newly formed eosinophils that migrate from bone marrow to the lungs.

Update Winter 2017

Health Effects Institute
February 2017

In this issue of Update, read about HEI’s new “State of Global Air” annual report and website and our upcoming Annual Conference in Alexandria, Virginia (see the preliminary program). Also read about the recipient of the 2016 Walter A. Rosenblith New Investigator Award, the appointment of a new member to HEI’s Board of Directors, and HEI "Communicating the Science” at meetings in the U.S. and abroad.

Annual Report

Health Effects Institute
January 2017
Annual Report

The 2016 Annual Report, Trusted Science for Decisions, describes HEI’s partnership with industry, government, scientists, and the environmental community to provide high-quality, impartial, and relevant science to inform public policy decisions about air quality and public health. Included is a description of HEI’s rigorous approach to science and the many ways diverse stakeholders in the United States and worldwide put the research findings to use.

The Effects of Policy-Driven Air Quality Improvements on Children’s Respiratory Health

Frank Gilliland
Edward L Avol
Rob McConnell
Kiros T Berhane
W James Gauderman
Fred W Lurmann
Robert Urman
Roger Chang
Edward B Rappaport
Stephen Howland
January 2017
Research Report 190

Research Report 190 describes a study by Frank Gilliland and colleagues that was funded under HEI’s Accountability research program. The investigators collected air quality data and lung function and respiratory symptoms in three cohorts of children who participated in the Children’s Health Study in Southern California. During the 20-year study period, nearly 20 major policy actions were implemented to reduce pollution from transportation and other sources. Gilliland and colleagues evaluated whether the improved air quality was associated with improved lung function and respiratory symptoms in these children.

Update Fall 2016

Health Effects Institute
October 2016

This issue of Update reports on a new study that explored the impact of Southern California air-quality regulations on children’s health; launch of the redesigned HEI Web site; new HEI Review Committee member Jennifer Peel; upcoming requests for applications; the sharing of HEI science at major Asian and European conferences; and HEI in the News.

Ambient Air Pollution and Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes in Wuhan, China

Zhengmin Qian
Bin Zhang
Shengwen Liang
Jing Wang
Shaoping Yang
Ke Hu
Edwin Trevathan
Rong Yang
Qijie Li
Louise H Flick
Ronghua Hu
Zhen Huang
Yimin Zhang
Shixiang Hu
Jing Wang
Longjiao Shen
Yuan Lu
Hui Peng
Yuzhen Yu
Li Yang
Wei Chen
Wenjin Liu
Wei Zhang
September 2016
Research Report 189

HEI Research Report 189 describes a study by Dr. Zhengmin Qian conducted in Wuhan, the capital city of Hubei province in China. Wuhan experiences temperature extremes and generally has higher air pollution levels than those seen in the United States and Europe. Dr. Qian examined whether increased exposures to air pollutants (particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, and ozone) during vulnerable pregnancy periods were associated with increased rates of preterm birth, low birth weight, or intrauterine growth retardation, using both a cohort and nested case-control design.

Burden of Disease Attributable to Coal-Burning and Other Air Pollution Sources in China

GBD MAPS Working Group
August 2016
Special Report 20

Special Report 20, Burden of Disease Attributable to Coal-Burning and Other Major Sources of Air Pollution in China, provides the first comprehensive assessment of the current and predicted burdens of disease attributable to coal-burning and other major sources of particulate matter air pollution (PM2.5) in China at the national and provincial levels. It is the result of the Global Burden of Disease – Major Air Pollution Sources (GDB MAPS) project, an international collaboration of Tsinghua University, the Health Effects Institute, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), and the University of British Columbia. The analyses show that coal combustion is the single largest source of air pollution-related health impact, contributing to some 366,000 premature deaths in China in 2013, with industry and household combustion as major contributors as well. The report also indicates that health burdens could grow substantially by 2030 if no further action is taken. 燃煤和其他主要大气污染源所致的中国疾病负担 (Special Report 20 in Chinese)



August 2016

专题报告20,燃煤和其他主要大气污染源所致的中国疾病负担。报告从国家与省级层面,对中国燃煤及其他主要空气污染源释放的细颗粒物(PM2.5)所造成当前及未来疾病负担进行了第一次综合评估。此项报告由清华大学、健康影响研究所、健康指标和评估研究所(IHME)与不列颠哥伦比亚大学联合发布,是全球疾病负担-主要空气污染源(GDB MAPS)这一国际合作项目的研究结果。分析表明,燃煤是造成空气污染、影响健康的最大元凶。2013年,仅燃煤一项在中国就导致约36.6万人过早死亡,其中以工业与民用燃煤影响最为重大。报告还指出,如不采取进一步行动,到2030年健康负担将会大幅增加。Burden of Disease Attributable to Coal-Burning and Other Air Pollution Sources in China (in English)

Adverse Reproductive Health Outcomes and Exposure to Gaseous and Particulate-Matter Air Pollution in Pregnant Women

Jun Wu
Olivier Laurent
Lianfa Li
Jianlin Hu
Michael Kleeman
July 2016
Research Report 188

HEI Research Report 188 analyzes associations between increases in various air pollution exposure metrics and increased risks of preterm birth. Jun Wu was funded under HEI's Walter A. Rosenblith New Investigator Award to conduct a comprehensive nested, case-control study of air pollution and adverse birth and pregnancy outcomes, using birth certificate data collected in California from 2001 to 2008. 

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.

Diesel Emissions and Lung Cancer: An Evaluation of Recent Epidemiological Evidence for Quantitative Risk Assessment

HEI Diesel Epidemiology Panel
November 2015
Special Report 19

Special Report 19 contains the intensive review and analysis of the newest studies of mine and truck workers exposed to older diesel engine exhaust conducted by an Expert Panel appointed by the HEI Board of Directors. In its report, HEI's Diesel Epidemiology Panel concluded that the studies are well prepared and are useful for applying the data to calculate the cancer risk due to exposure to diesel exhaust.