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Environmental Assessment

Particulate Matter

The Issue
Particulate matter (PM) is a complex mixture of extremely small particles and liquid droplets in the air. Particulate matter causes concern because it is associated with serious health effects such as aggravated asthma, difficulty breathing, chronic bronchitis, decreased lung function, and premature death. PM contributes to haze and can harm the environment by changing the natural nutrient and chemical balance of the soil.

EPA Action
EPA scientists are conducting research to better understand which attributes of particulate matter cause ill health effects, who may be most susceptible to these effects, how particles form in the atmosphere, and what the contributions are from various sources in different regions of the country.

EPA's National Center for Environmental Assessment periodically evaluates the latest research concerning the public health and welfare effects of ozone and publishes the Integrated Science Assessment for Particulate Matter. This final document provides the scientific basis for the establishment of national air quality standards for PM.

The latest version of the Integrated Science Assessment for Particulate Matter was published in December 2009. EPA's Integrated Science Assessment documents are vetted through a rigorous peer review process, including review by the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Council and by anyone during the public comment period.

Related Links

Best Resources

U.S. EPA. Integrated Science Assessment for Particulate Matter (Final Report). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/600/R-08/139F, 2009.



Additional Resources

Folinsbee, L. Air Pollution and Exercise-Induced Bronchoconstriction. , Marcel Dekker Incorporated, New York, NY, volume 130, (1999).

U.S. EPA. Air Quality Criteria for Particulate Matter, Volumes I-III. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, 1996.

Furtaw, E. J. An Overview of Human Exposure Modeling Activities at the U.S. EPA's National Exposure Research Laboratory. , Toxicology and Environmental Health 17(5): 302-324, (2001).

Mage, D. Are Males More Susceptible to Ambient PM Than Females? Presented at Colloquium on Particulate Air Pollution and Human Health, June 1999.

U.S. EPA. Assessment of Dioxin Inhalation Exposures and Potential Health Impacts Following the Collapse of the World Trade Center Towers. ,.

Wilson Jr., W E. Associations Between Trace Elemental Composition of PM2.5 and Mortality and Morbidity in Philadelphia. Presented at Joint International Conference of the ISEE/ISEA, Vancouver, BC, Canada, August 11-15, 2002.

Wilson, W. AND S. Kegler. Cardiovascular Mortality in Phoenix: PM1 Is a Better Indicator Than PM2.5. Presented at 2000 Annual Conference of the American Association for Aerosol Research, St. Louis, MO, Nov. 6-10, 2000.

Foureman, G. L. Cross-Species Dose Extrapolation for Diesel Emissions. Presented at Society for Risk Analysis, Seattle, WA, December 2, 2001.

Wilson, W. Design of Exposure Measurements for Epidemiologic Studies. Presented at Annual Meeting of the Chinese Assoc. for Aerosol Research, Taiwan, Taipai, October 30-31, 1999.

NADADUR, S. S., S. D. HESTER, A. MUDIPALLI, N. HAYKAL-COATES, AND D. L. COSTA. Direct Effects of PM Constituents on Endothelial Cells: What Can We Learn from Genomic Approaches? Presented at Society of Toxicology Annual Meeting, Seattle, WA, March 16 - 20, 2008.

Han, H. S., S. Kaufman, J. Turner, W Wilson, AND D. Y. Pui. Electrical Aerosol Detector (EAD) Measurements at the St. Louis Supersite. Presented at AAAR PM Supersites Program and Related Studies International Specialty Conference, Atlanta, GA, February 07 - 11, 2005.

Wilson, W. Error in Annual Average Due to Use of Less Than Everyday Measurements. Presented at AWMA Speciality Conference , PM 2000, Charleston, SC, January 2000.

Wilson Jr., W E., D T. Mage, AND L D. Grant. Estimating Separately Personal Exposure to Ambient and Non-Ambient Particulate Matter for Epidemiology and Risk Assessment: Why and How. , JOURNAL OF THE AIR AND WASTE MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION 50:1167-1183, (2000).

U.S. EPA. Exposure and Human Health Evaluation of Airborne Pollution from the World Trade Center Disaster. ,.

Wilson, W. Extreme Dust and Smoke Events Over the U.S. in 1998. Presented at AWMA Specialty Conference, PM 2000, Charleston, SC, January 2000.

Kim, E., P. K. Hopke, J P. Pinto, AND W E. Wilson. Frequency Distributions and Spatial Analysis of Fine Particle Measurements in St. Louis During the Regional Air Pollution Study/Regional Air Monitoring System. , ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY 39(11):4172-4179, (2005).

U.S. EPA. Health Effects of Inhaled Crystalline and Amorphous Silica. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, National Center For Environmental Assessment, Research Triangle Park Office, Research Triangle Park, NC, EPA/600/R-95/115, 1996.

Wilson Jr., W E. Impact of Ambient PM on the Indoor Environment and Personal Exposure. Presented at Research Priorities for Airborne Particulate Matter, Charleston, SC, November 9, 2001.

Wilson Jr., W E. Implications of Using Ambient PM Concentration as a Surrogate for PM Exposure in Statistical and Epidemiologic Analyses of Time Series Data. Presented at Joint International Conference of the ISEE/ISEA, Vancouver, BC, Canada, August 11-15, 2002.

Thurston, G., K. Ito, AND W. Wilson. Influence of Alternative PM Components in Mass Associations with Philadelphia, PA Mortality and Hospital Admissions. Presented at AWMA Speciality Conference, PM 2000, Charleston, SC, January 2000.

Pinto, J. Initial Characterization of Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5) Collected By the National Federal Reference Monitor Network. Presented at AWMA Annual Meeting, Orlando, FL, June 2001.

U.S. EPA. Integrated Science Assessment (ISA) for Oxides of Nitrogen and Sulfur Ecological Criteria (Final Report). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/600/R-08/082F, 2008.

Grover, B., N. L. Eatough, D. Eatough, J. Ambs, M. Meyer, P. K. Hopke, R. AlHorr, D. Later, J. C. Chow, J. Watson, AND W E. Wilson. Measurement of Fine Particulate Matter (Nonvolatile and Semivolatile Fractions) in Fresno, CA. Presented at AAAR PM Supersites Program and Related Studies International Specialty Conference, Atlanta, GA, February 07 - 11, 2005.

Wilson Jr., W E. AND M. Brauer. Methods to Estimate the Ambient and Nonambient Components of Total Personal Exposure to Particulate Matter. Presented at International Society of Exposure Assessment, Charleston, SC, November 4-8, 2001.

Wilson Jr., W E., J. C. Chow, C. S. Claiborn, W. Fusheng, J. Engelbrecht, AND J. G. Watson. Monitoring of Particulate Matter Outdoors. , CHEMOSPHERE 49(9):1009-1043, (2002).

Marcus, A. Multivariate Statistical Models for Effects of PM and Copollutants in a Daily Time Series Epidemiology Study. Presented at Third Colloquium on Particulate Air Pollution and Human Health, June 6-8, 1999.

Wilson, W. New U.S. EPA Standards and Problems Associated with Measurement of Pollutants: Implication for Filter Manufacturers. Presented at Annual Meeting of the Air Filtration Conference of the American Filtration and Separations Society, Minneapolis, MN, October 21, 1999.

U.S. EPA. Novel Statistical Approach to Evaluate Spatial Distribution of PM from Specific Source Categories..

Wilson, W. PM Constituent Roles in Mass Associations with Health Effects in Philadelphia, Pa. Presented at Annual Meeting of International Society of Environmental Epidemiology, September 2000.

U.S. EPA. Provisional Assessment of Recent Studies on Health Effects of Particulate Matter Exposure. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/600/R-12/056, 2012.

U.S. EPA. Provisional Assessment of Recent Studies on Particulate Matter (2006). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/600/R-06/063, 2006.

Mage, D. Reinventing Personal Exposure to Particulate Matter. Presented at ISEA Symposium, Athens, Greece, September 1999.

Oberdorster, G. AND W. Pepelko. Research Needs for Risk Assessment of Inhaled Particulate Matter: Report of a Workshop. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C., EPA/600/R-93/104 (NTIS PB94123866).

Wilson, W. Semi-Volatile Species in PM 2.5: Development and Validation of Integrated and Continuous Samplers for PM 2.5 Research or Exposure Monitoring. Presented at AWMA Specialty Conference, PM 2000, Charleston, SC, January 2000.

Wilson, W. Size Distribution of Ambient and Indoor Particles: Does the Overlap of Fine and Coarse Particles Cause Problems in the Interpretation of Research Results? Presented at AWMA Specialty Conference, PM 2000, Charleston, SC, January 2000.

Wilson, W. The Bimodal Distribution: Development of the Concept of Fine and Coarse Particles as Separate and Distinct Components of Airborne Particulate Matter. Presented at Annual Meeting of the Chinese Assoc. for Aerosol Research, Taiwan, Taipai, October 30-31, 1999.

Wilson, W E. The Exposure Paradox in Particulate Matter Community Time-Series Epidemiology: Can Ambient Concentrations of PM Be Used as a Surrogate for Personal Exposure to PM ? Presented at International Society of Environmental Epidemiology Meeting, Garmish-Partenkirche, Germany, September 2001.

Wilson, W. The U.S. EPA Promulgates New Standards for Fine Particles. Presented at Annual Meeting of the Chinese Assoc. for Aerosol Research, Taiwan, Taipai, October 30-31, 1999.

NADADUR, S. S., C. A. Miller, P. K. HOPKE, T. GORDON, S. Vedal, J. J. VANDENBERG, AND D. L. COSTA. The Complexities of Air Pollution Regulation: the Need for An Intergrated Research and Regulatory Perspective. Society of Toxicology, 2007.

Wilson, W E. Use of Continuous Measurements of Integral Aerosol Parameters to Estimate Particle Surface Area. Presented at AWMA Specialty Conference, PM 2000, Charleston, SC, January 2000.
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