Sources, Composition, Variability and Toxicological Characteristics of Coarse (PM10-2.5) Particles in Southern California

EPA Grant Number: R833743
Title: Sources, Composition, Variability and Toxicological Characteristics of Coarse (PM10-2.5) Particles in Southern California
Investigators: Sioutas, Constantinos , Nel, Andre E. , Schauer, James J. , Cho, Arthur K. , Froines, John R. , Geller, Michael
Current Investigators: Sioutas, Constantinos , Nel, Andre E. , Moore, Katharine F. , Schauer, James J. , Cho, Arthur K. , Froines, John R.
Institution: University of Southern California , University of California - Los Angeles , University of Wisconsin Madison
EPA Project Officer: Chung, Serena
Project Period: November 1, 2007 through October 31, 2009 (Extended to October 31, 2012)
Project Amount: $1,120,641
RFA: Sources, Composition, and Health Effects of Coarse Particulate Matter (2006) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Air , Air Quality and Air Toxics , Particulate Matter


The objective of this proposal is to provide the much-needed information on the relationships between coarse particulate matter (PM) sources, spatial and seasonal characteristics, and toxicity in Southern California. The proposed multidisciplinary research in ambient measurements, exposure assessment and toxicology will be integrated with other major research efforts currently under way in Southern California, including the EPA-funded Southern California PM Center.


The proposed project spans an approximate 24-month cycle of measurements at ten locations impacted by different PM sources and representing distinctly different areas (urban, rural- receptor and desert) of the Los Angeles Basin (LAB). Seven of these locations are also sampling sites of the MESA (Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis) Air Pollution Study (“MESA Air”). Two of them are high schools in urban Los Angeles with a high Hispanic student population. In each of our fixed sites, measurements of coarse PM mass, inorganic ions (sulfate and nitrate), elemental and organic carbon (EC-OC), speciated organic tracers, trace elements and metals as well as concurrent in vitro measurements of their redox activity and oxidative potential will be conducted on continuous and time-integrated bases. We will also conduct winter and summer intensive campaigns in these areas. The 24 hr averaged sampling campaigns are designed to give us an estimate of the spatial variability of coarse PM metrics and how they affect the observed particle toxicity, whereas the purpose of the intensive campaigns will be to determine the diurnal variability in chemical composition of these particles. Indoor-outdoor ratios for coarse PM mass and each species will be determined for selected sites. Coarse PM source apportionment and linkages of sources to toxicological outcomes will be a major focus of analysis.

Expected Results:

Our research will help EPA understand the linkage between sources, composition and the toxicity of coarse PM, which provides a strong scientific basis to develop cost-effective strategies to protect the public from the toxic sources of coarse particulate matter. The current data will help determine if there is a scientific foundation for controlling coarse particulate matter from only a subset of coarse particulate sources. Moreover, data on coarse PM characteristics will become an invaluable resource to the ongoing and planned PM exposure and health studies in the LAB, including major research programs, such as the Southern California PM Center (SCPC) and MESA Air investigations

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 21 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 12 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

Air pollution, ambient air quality, monitoring, environmental exposure, toxicology, human health, sensitive populations, environmental monitoring, air sampling, airborne particulate matter, chemical characteristics, chemical speciation sampling, source apportionment,, RFA, Scientific Discipline, Air, particulate matter, Health Risk Assessment, Biology, PM10, atmospheric particulate matter, cardiopulmonary responses, human health effects, atmospheric particles, bioavailability, cardiovascular vulnerability, cardiotoxicity, coarse pm, chemical speciation sampling

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2008 Progress Report
  • 2009 Progress Report
  • 2010 Progress Report
  • 2011 Progress Report
  • Final Report