Assessing Life-Shortening Associated with Exposure to Particulate Matter

EPA Grant Number: R827353C005
Subproject: this is subproject number 005 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R827353
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: EPA Harvard Center for Ambient Particle Health Effects
Center Director: Koutrakis, Petros
Title: Assessing Life-Shortening Associated with Exposure to Particulate Matter
Investigators: Schwartz, Joel
Current Investigators: Schwartz, Joel , Bateson, Thomas F , Zanobetti, Antonella , Coull, Brent , O'Neill, M.
Institution: Harvard University
EPA Project Officer: Chung, Serena
Project Period: June 1, 1999 through May 31, 2005 (Extended to May 31, 2006)
Project Amount: Refer to main center abstract for funding details.
RFA: Airborne Particulate Matter (PM) Centers (1999) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Air Quality and Air Toxics , Particulate Matter , Air


This project is one of four projects under Theme II: Identifying Populations Susceptible to the Health Effects of Particulate Air Pollution of our proposal. The main objective of this project is to examine whether particles advance mortality by a few days (harvesting) or have a more profound impact on public health.


Research conducted as part of Theme II is intended to identify individuals who are sensitive to the effects of air pollution and to assess the chronic effects of particulate exposures. Theme II includes four research projects, all of which are based on data and methods from ongoing epidemiological studies. Project IIa, for example, is a prospective cohort study that uses the Medicare database and the National Death Index to identify populations that are susceptible to particulate and gaseous air pollutant exposures. Specifically, this project will test the hypothesis that patients with pre-existing respiratory, cardiovascular, or diabetic conditions have an enhanced mortality response to particulate exposures. This project will include cohorts from cities characterized by diverse air pollution profiles, initially including Boston, MA, New Haven, CT, Chicago, IL, Utah County and Salt Lake, UT, Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN, and Spokane, WA. Project IIb will use innovative analytical methods to examine whether particles advance mortality by a few days (harvesting) or have a more profound impact on public health. This project will do so using air pollution and mortality data from three cities - Chicago, IL, Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN, and Seattle, WA - and will analyze these data using Cleveland's STL algorithm (and multiple intermediate time-scales) and generalized additive models. Project IIc will examine the chronic effects of air pollution exposures for the cohort of individuals that participated in the Harvard Six Cities study. As such, the project will extend the follow-up of adults in the Six Cities Study up to twenty-four years in order to (1) assess the cumulative effect of long-term exposures on the incidence of lung cancer, nonmalignant respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, and cause-specific mortality, (2) estimate the distribution of particulate-associated years of life lost, and (3) determine the pre-existing conditions which predispose individuals to exposure-associated decreased survival and increased incident disease. In Project IId, archived particle samples collected in the Harvard 24- and 5-Cities studies will be analyzed for metals and elemental carbon, with results from these chemical analyses used to examine associations between individual particle species and the respiratory health effects of children. These additional data on particle composition, plus the larger sample from the combined 24- and 5-Cities studies (over 20,000 children from 29 communities across the U.S. and Canada), provide a unique opportunity to assess the effects of chronic exposure to specific particle components on the respiratory health of children.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this subproject: View all 22 publications for this subprojectView all 200 publications for this center

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this subproject: View all 22 journal articles for this subprojectView all 197 journal articles for this center

Supplemental Keywords:

particulate matter, PM2.5, PM10, air pollutants, particulates, health effects, exposure, ambient particles, susceptibility, metals, public policy, biology, engineering, epidemiology, toxicology, environmental chemistry, monitoring., RFA, Health, Scientific Discipline, Air, Geographic Area, particulate matter, Toxicology, Environmental Chemistry, Epidemiology, State, Risk Assessments, Microbiology, Susceptibility/Sensitive Population/Genetic Susceptibility, Environmental Microbiology, Environmental Monitoring, genetic susceptability, Atmospheric Sciences, Molecular Biology/Genetics, Biology, Environmental Engineering, chemical exposure, interindividual variability, molecular epidemiology, ambient air quality, particulates, risk assessment, sensitive populations, ambient air monitoring, health risks, cardiopulmonary responses, indoor exposure, human health effects, developmental effects, epidemelogy, respiratory disease, Utah (UT), exposure, pulmonary disease, ambient measurement methods, air pollution, Massachusetts (MA), particle exposure, biological mechanism , Human Health Risk Assessment, children, pre-existing conditions, lung cancer, human exposure, ambient particle health effects, Illinois (IL), cardiopulmonary response, particulate exposure, inhalation, mortality studies, pulmonary, inhalation toxicology, Connecticut (CT), elderly, human susceptibility, inhaled particles, indoor air quality, toxics, genetic susceptibility, air quality, dosimetry, cardiovascular disease, human health risk

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 1999 Progress Report
  • 2000 Progress Report
  • 2001 Progress Report
  • 2002 Progress Report
  • 2003 Progress Report
  • 2004
  • Final Report

  • Main Center Abstract and Reports:

    R827353    EPA Harvard Center for Ambient Particle Health Effects

    Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
    R827353C001 Assessing Human Exposures to Particulate and Gaseous Air Pollutants
    R827353C002 Quantifying Exposure Error and its Effect on Epidemiological Studies
    R827353C003 St. Louis Bus, Steubenville and Atlanta Studies
    R827353C004 Examining Conditions That Predispose Towards Acute Adverse Effects of Particulate Exposures
    R827353C005 Assessing Life-Shortening Associated with Exposure to Particulate Matter
    R827353C006 Investigating Chronic Effects of Exposure to Particulate Matter
    R827353C007 Determining the Effects of Particle Characteristics on Respiratory Health of Children
    R827353C008 Differentiating the Roles of Particle Size, Particle Composition, and Gaseous Co-Pollutants on Cardiac Ischemia
    R827353C009 Assessing Deposition of Ambient Particles in the Lung
    R827353C010 Relating Changes in Blood Viscosity, Other Clotting Parameters, Heart Rate, and Heart Rate Variability to Particulate and Criteria Gas Exposures
    R827353C011 Studies of Oxidant Mechanisms
    R827353C012 Modeling Relationships Between Mobile Source Particle Emissions and Population Exposures
    R827353C013 Toxicological Evaluation of Realistic Emissions of Source Aerosols (TERESA) Study
    R827353C014 Identifying the Physical and Chemical Properties of Particulate Matter Responsible for the Observed Adverse Health Effects
    R827353C015 Research Coordination Core
    R827353C016 Analytical and Facilities Core
    R827353C017 Technology Development and Transfer Core