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Airborne Particulate Matter: Physico-Chemical Characteristics and Human Exposure Issues Related to Health Effects Research and Assessment

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Abstract: Exposure to particulate matter (PM) is associated with excess mortality and morbidity, especially in individuals with cardiopulmonary disease. These epidemiologic findings are the cornerstone of EPA's revision of the PM National Ambient Quality Standards to include PM less than 2.5 microns. Uncertainties in the available information caused the US Congress to stimulate research by having the National Academy of Sciences identify key information needs and by significantly increasing research budgets. Of the several areas of research needed, the ones on mechanisms of the effect(s) and characterization of the causal PM (and perhaps co-occurring gases) are crucial. Key hypothesis for causative factors are: mass, size, number, surface area, chemistry, co-occurring gases, or some combination of them. Many toxicologists are engaging in research on these topics. One major difficulty is understanding the complex nature of PM as a prelude to designing the most effective studies. This workshop is designed to provide toxicologists with background on the nature of PM and exposures. Both aspects are important. Knowing the physico-chemical nature of key classes of PM is basic. For example, there are major differences between ultrafine, fine, and coarse mode particles in addition to size. Biological components might also have important influences. Information on co-occurring gasses is also a major element. Even if the ambient air were perfectly understood, it still is essential to characterize what fractions people are exposed to. This is an abstract of proposed presentation and does not necessarily reflect the views of EPA or LRRI.
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Citation:Graham, J. A., and J. J. Mauderly. Airborne Particulate Matter: Physico-Chemical Characteristics and Human Exposure Issues Related to Health Effects Research and Assessment. Presented at Society of Toxicology Meeting, Philadelphia, PA, March 19-23, 2000.
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Contact: Mary P. O'Bryant - (919)-541-4871 or obriant.mary@epa.gov
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Division: Office of the Director
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Branch: NERL-Immediate Office
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Product Type: Abstrct/Oral
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Presented: 03/19/2000
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Last Updated on Monday, October 22, 2007
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