Health Effects and Characterization of Urban and Rural Coarse ParticulateMatter in Northeastern Colorado

EPA Grant Number: R833744
Title: Health Effects and Characterization of Urban and Rural Coarse ParticulateMatter in Northeastern Colorado
Investigators: Hannigan, Michael P. , Milford, Jana B. , Miller, Shelly , Navidi, William C. , Peel, Jennifer
Institution: University of Colorado at Boulder , Colorado School of Mines , Colorado State University
EPA Project Officer: Chung, Serena
Project Period: January 1, 2008 through December 31, 2012 (Extended to June 30, 2013)
Project Amount: $1,200,000
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 proposed research is designed to investigate associations between coarse particulate matter (CP) mass concentrations and several health outcomes in a pair of urban and rural communities: Denver and Greeley, CO, and to characterize the particle composition and origin in both communities.


To accomplish these objectives, we will measures the mass concentration of CP at 4 sites in Denver and 3 sites in Greeley continuously for 3 years (January 1, 2008 – December 31, 2010), which will provide daily levels for the epidemiologic models and allow us to evaluate the spatial variability of CP in both locations. We will measure components of CP (total and water soluble organic carbon, elemental carbon, carbohydrates, protein, endotoxin, water-soluble organic nitrogen, ionic species and metal species) in these two communities for a sample of days in the study period (50 samples at 2 sites in each community for a total of 200 samples). We will determine the response of toxicological assays for reactive oxygen species and cytotoxicity to CP from Denver and Greeley in alveolar macrophage cells. We will utilize positive matrix factorization methods to characterize the source contributions in each of the locations. To assess and compare health outcomes in the two locations, we will evaluate the daily CP levels (and other air pollutants measured by the state of Colorado) in relation to several measures of morbidity: ventricular arrhythmic events in patients with implantable cardioverter defibrillators; cardiopulmonary emergency department visits, and adverse birth outcomes (preterm birth and intrauterine growth restriction). We will compare the estimated health effects observed in Denver and Greeley and evaluate any differences with respect to composition, spatial variability and source contributions to CP, as well as with respect to population differences.

Expected Results:

The proposed research will contribute to our understanding of the health outcomes associated with CP and other air pollutants in a region of the country with relatively sparse monitoring data and few prior health effects studies. The work will allow comparison of responses in urban and rural communities that are affected by distinctly different sources of CP, with major contributions from agriculture and mining activities in Greeley. Additionally, both communities have substantial Hispanic populations (~30% of the population in both locations), allowing for a potential contribution regarding the health effects in this rarely studied population.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 14 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 4 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

ambient air, exposure, risk, health effect, human health, dose-response, particulates, PM, metals, epidemiology, modeling, environmental chemistry,, RFA, Scientific Discipline, Air, Geographic Area, particulate matter, Health Risk Assessment, State, Biology, PM10, atmospheric particulate matter, cardiopulmonary responses, human health effects, atmospheric particles, bioavailability, cardiovascular vulnerability, cardiotoxicity, coarse pm, chemical speciation sampling, exposure assessment

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2008 Progress Report
  • 2009 Progress Report
  • 2010 Progress Report
  • 2011 Progress Report
  • 2012 Progress Report
  • Final Report