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RFA 23-1, Assessing Health Effects of Traffic-Related Air Pollution in a Changing Urban Transportation Landscape

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RFA 23-1

RFA 23-1 is seeking to fund studies to assess health effects of long-term exposure to TRAP. Studies should propose novel or improved methods and approaches to evaluate exposure to and health effects of traffic-related air pollutants as technologies and fuels change, the fleet turns over, mobility transforms, and electrification makes greater inroads.


RFA 23-1 seeks to fund studies that can accomplish at least one of the objectives listed below. Note that in meeting the first three objectives, investigators should consider whether their work can effectively include effects in marginalized communities in high-income countries.

  • In the proposed health studies, develop, validate, and apply novel or improved exposure assessment methods suitable for estimating exposures to traffic-related air pollutants that (1) account for other air pollution sources in urban areas (such as airports, (sea)ports, industries, and other local point sources), (2) could distinguish between tailpipe and non-tailpipe traffic emissions, to the maximum extent possible, and (3) take into consideration the overall impact of (new) transportation and mobility trends on air quality and exposure.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of key measures to reduce TRAP and improve public health, as well as to assess the health benefits of measures designed to mitigate traffic or achieve other policy objectives.
  • Estimate the impacts on urban air quality and health of various new transportation and mobility scenarios, including a baseline (status quo or "business as usual") scenario.
  • Investigate health effects of long-term exposure to TRAP in understudied low- and middle-income countries.


Overall, a total of $5 million will be available for this RFA. HEI expects to fund a small number of studies (2 to 3 years in duration).

Preliminary Application Due Date: 
March 15, 2023
Full Application Due Date: 
July 7, 2023

Ongoing studies funded under this RFA

The University of British Columbia, Canada

This project will link and extend several models to create a framework for full-chain assessment of transportation systems and impacts of traffic-related air pollution on population health in the San Francisco Bay Area. The investigators will evaluate impacts of three policy scenarios — federal/California long-term transportation electrification, telecommuting impact from COVID-19, and a community-led scenario — on ambient air pollution and associated mortality and morbidity outcomes, including environmental justice disparities.

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Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

This project will use an existing study (VITAL) to examine both cross‐sectional and longitudinal associations of traffic-related air pollution with a panel of standard lipid risk factors and novel apolipoprotein and lipoprotein subfractions, and with incident cardiovascular disease events, and explore potential mediating pathways of risk.

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