What Causes Asthma? A Long-Run Analysis of the Relationship Between Air Pollution and Asthma

EPA Grant Number: FP961384
Title: What Causes Asthma? A Long-Run Analysis of the Relationship Between Air Pollution and Asthma
Investigators: Yeh, Ethan Y.
Institution: University of California - Berkeley
EPA Project Officer: Packard, Benjamin H
Project Period: January 1, 2004 through December 31, 2006
Project Amount: $111,000
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (2004) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Academic Fellowships , Environmental Justice , Fellowship - Economics


Interestingly, diesel exhaust, ozone, and other ambient particulate levels have declined significantly in recent years, but asthma incidence rates have continued to rise, suggesting that air pollution may not be a significant a factor in causing or aggravating asthma. Unfortunately, this pair of facts remains a puzzle because little research has focused on long-term trends and patterns. The objective of this research project is to investigate patterns between ambient air particulate data and asthma incidence rates in the United States.


Possible data for this analysis include county-level data on air particulates from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s pollution monitors across the Nation from 1969 to the present, and data on asthma incidence rates from national surveys, such as the National Health Interview Survey or the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, or directly from county health offices. Econometric analysis will be used to find patterns that may elucidate the relationship between air pollution and asthma. In particular, the project will estimate the effect of specific air particulates on the development of asthma and the triggering of asthmatic episodes.

Supplemental Keywords:

fellowship, asthma, air pollution, air particulate levels, particulate matter, PM, ozone, diesel exhaust, air emissions, asthma incidence rates, asthma episode triggers,, RFA, Health, Scientific Discipline, PHYSICAL ASPECTS, Air, ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT, HUMAN HEALTH, particulate matter, Environmental Chemistry, Health Risk Assessment, Risk Assessments, Allergens/Asthma, Health Effects, Physical Processes, Ecology and Ecosystems, Risk Assessment, asthma, environmental monitoring, particulates, asthma triggers, exposure, asthma indices, allergic airway disease, air pollution, airborne pollutants, human exposure, air pollutant-induced pulmonary inflammation, allergic response, aersol particles, exposure assessment

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2004
  • 2005
  • Final